Gary Barber’s Lexie Lou was all heart in Sunday’s Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine Racecourse, looking beaten all the way down the stretch but somehow prevailing by just under a length for trainer Mark Casse. The 5-year-old daughter of Sligo Bay covered nine furlongs in 1:44.89 over the firm turf, giving Patrick Husbands his fourth winner on the card.
Lexie Lou broke well, and no other horses appeared to want the lead, so Husbands allowed her to set her own pace in the early going. She drew out to a three-length advantage over Goodyearforroses in the first quarter-mile in :22 3/5, and extended it to nearly five lengths by the half-mile in :45 1/5. Her advantage began to disappear entering the final turn as Husbands allowed her a breather, as Goodyearforroses, The Tea Cups and Strut the Course approached the flank of the Queen’s Plate-winning filly.
Headed at the top of the lane, Lexie Lou appeared beaten, but Husbands somehow convinced her to hang around for the length of the stretch as Strut the Course proved her main competition from the center of the track. With just a sixteenth of a mile to run, Lexie Lou jumped back in the bridle and drew away from her rivals, crossing the wire just under a length in front of Strut the Course. A blanket finish for the minor positions saw Nakuti finish third, and Heath fourth.
Bred in Ontario by Paradox Farm, Lexie Lou was a $ 5,500 yearling purchase at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society September sale. She captured the Queen’s Plate and the Sovereign Award as a 3-year-old, and the Dance Smartly marks her second win of 2016 over Woodbine’s turf. Lexie Lou’s career record stands at 9-4-4 from 23 starts, with earnings of over $ 1.7 million.
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