01/17/2015 7:50PM

Thegirlinthatsong draws clear in La Canada

Benoit & Associates
Thegirlinthatsong, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, wins the La Canada by 4 1/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Thegirlinthatsong made her presence heard loud and clear in Saturday’s $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita.

Winning the first graded stakes of her career, Thegirlinthatsong ($15) stalked pacesetter Jojo Warrior to early stretch before storming clear to win the Grade 2 La Canada for 4-year-old fillies by 4 1/4 lengths over even-money favorite Lexie Lou.

Thegirlinthatsong ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.84.

Thegirlinthatsong trailed Jojo Warrior by four lengths on the backstretch and closed impressively under jockey Rafael Bejarano to reach the front.

“She had to be ridden aggressively to catch up, but once she caught up she ran nicely,” said winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Lexie Lou, the winner of the Queen’s Plate Stakes against males at Woodbine last July, closed from fifth in a field of seven to catch Jojo Warrior near the wire for second. Lexie Lou finished a head in front of Jojo Warrior, who was followed by Une Cherise, Fleet of Gold, Colonel Joan, and Ramona’s Wildcat.

Lexie Lou struggled with dirt in her face and chest, but finished with interest, jockey Corey Nakatani said.

“I like the way she kept trying and didn’t give up when it was hitting her,” Nakatani said. “Once I got her out of it, she was okay.”

The La Canada was the first start for Lexie Lou since she finished second to California Chrome in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 29. Lexie Lou ran on dirt for the first time in the La Canada, her 17th career start.

Thegirlinthatsong joined Hollendorfer’s stable last summer, having been purchased privately by the partnership of Tim and Peter Russo, Daniel Gatto, and Hollendorfer. Thegirlinthatsong won stakes at Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park earlier in her career.

A Texas-bred by the Unbridled’s Song stallion My Golden Song, Thegirlinthatsong has won 5 of 19 starts and $407,695. Last fall, she was second in the Remington Park Oaks in September, fifth behind Lexie Lou in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes on turf here in October, and second in the Zia Park Oaks in New Mexico in November.