07/06/2014 7:14PM

Lone filly Lexie Lou takes down the boys in Queen's Plate

Email
Michael Burns
Lexie Lou took on the boys and won Sunday as the lone filly in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Lexie Lou, the lone filly in the 15-horse field, closed stoutly from mid-pack under Patrick Husbands to take the 155th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on Sunday.

Lexie Lou became the 35th filly to win the Plate and is just the sixth horse to sweep both the Woodbine Oaks and Plate. Her owner, Hollywood producer Gary Barber, purchased her privately in the spring from owner-trainer John Ross.

The victory is the first in the prestigious Canadian Classic for perennial leading Woodbine trainer Mark Casse, who is 1 for 20 in the race. 

“It’s been a long, hard ride,” Casse said. “It will probably sink in a little more later on. It’s very emotional. I’ve been following the Queen’s Plate since I was a little boy, so to finally win it … It’s been a great year. We were the leading trainer at Keeneland, which meant so much to me. And to be able to win the Queen’s Plate, I just pinch myself. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love so much.”

Asserting Bear dueled for the lead through quick fractions of 23.23 seconds and 47.09 before getting the three-quarters in 1:11.54. Lexie Lou began to mount a wide rally around the half-mile pole, and she hit the front in mid-stretch before holding off a charging Ami’s Holiday to score by 1 1/2 lengths in 2:03.94.

Asserting Bear weakened to third, while the 9-5 favorite We Miss Artie rallied belatedly for fourth after missing the break.

“When we [left the gate], she relaxed,” Husbands said. “She was rolling. By the time we reached the five-eighths pole, I kept her in the clear, and she picked them off one by one. When I asked her, she gave me 110 [percent] down the lane.”

Lexie Lou paid $8.20 as the second choice. First money of $600,000 boosted her bankroll to $1,249,250.

Casse didn’t rule out running Lexie Lou in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt July 29 at Fort Erie. He also said Barber might want to run the synthetic track expert this summer at Del Mar.

“I think she can run with any filly in North America, except for Untapable,” Casse said.