Sensational Queen's Plate winner Lexie Lou makes her turf debut Aug. 10 in the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, the final jewel of Canada's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.
The Wonder Where, at 1 1/4 miles, is the first start for Gary Barber's Lexie Lou since she became the second filly in three years to defeat males in the prestigious Queen's Plate July 6 going 1 1/4 miles on Polytrack. Lexie Lou came from off the pace in the 15-horse event to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
The daughter of Sligo Bay out of the In Excess mare Oneexcessivenite is trained by Mark Casse, a six-time Sovereign Award winner who secured his first Queen's Plate win.
"This is why we bought her," Casse said. "Gary had done the homework on her and we thought her numbers were good, but not great, on synthetic. Our feeling was that she could be better on the grass and if her number did improve on the grass, she could be as good as any 3-year-old filly in North America."
Lexie Lou's dam won four of 18 starts, of which three wins came over the green. Her sire, a son of the great Sadler's Wells, is a grade I winner on the grass.
Prior to the Queen's Plate, Lexie Lou dominated fillies in the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser by 4 1/2 lengths June 15; she brings a two-race win streak into the Wonder Where. The bay filly has raced exclusively on Woodbine's Polytrack in her previous 12 starts, including five victories, four in stakes, and a bankroll of $1,172,658.
Patrick Husbands will again guide Lexie Lou. They depart post 2 in a field of eight Ontario-bred fillies, each assigned 121 pounds. The Wonder Where is the ninth on a 10-race card Sunday that also includes the $200,000 Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) at seven furlongs on turf for older horses. The approximate post time for the Wonder Where is 5:12 p.m. EDT.
Lexie Lou breezed over the Woodbine training turf course July 23, covering five furlongs in 1:01 4/5.
"Patrick said she loved it. All indications are that she'll like the grass, she's bred for it, but until you actually see it you hold your breath," said Casse. "If she does really well and can run on the grass like we hope she can, it will open up a bunch of avenues for her."
Regal Conqueror, half-length winner of the one-mile Ontario Damsel Stakes on turf July 19 in a 7-1 upset, drew the far outside post with Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard. William Sorokolit's homebred daughter of Sky Conqueror has won three of six starts for trainer Darwin Banach.
Besides Regal Conqueror, four others in the Wonder Where made their most recent start in the Ontario Damsel: Skylander Girl (second), Fancy Ribbons (third), Lapsang (fourth), and Llanarmon (fifth).
Skylander, winner of last year's Ontario Debutante, gave way grudgingly in the Ontario Damsel after taking control following a pace duel with Fancy Ribbons.
Llanarmon, who drew the rail in the Wonder Where, was never a factor in the Damsel as the 1-2 favorite after a slow start. Winner of the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) last September on the Woodbine lawn, the Sky Mesa lass will wear blinkers for the first time in this start.
Llanarmon is one of three in the field entered by trainer Roger Attfield. The Hall of Fame conditioner also has Hantaloop, a sharp front-running allowance winner on Polytrack July 12, and the maiden Chique to Chique, second last out going 1 1/16 miles on grass.
Woodbine, Sunday, August 10, 2014, Race 9
- 1 1/4m
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:12 PM (local)
|1||1Llanarmon (ON)||David Moran||121||Roger L. Attfield||-|
|2||2Lexie Lou (ON)||Patrick Husbands||121||Mark E. Casse||-|
|3||3Skylander Girl (ON)||Emile Ramsammy||121||Alexander P. Patykewich||-|
|4||4Lapsang (ON)||Jesse M. Campbell||121||Suzanne M. Drake||-|
|5||5Hantaloop (ON)||Gary Boulanger||121||Roger L. Attfield||-|
|6||6Fancy Ribbons (ON)||Emma-Jayne Wilson||121||Ian Black||-|
|7||7Chique to Chique (ON)||Gerry Olguin||121||Roger L. Attfield||-|
|8||8Regal Conqueror (ON)||Eurico Rosa Da Silva||121||Darwin D. Banach||-|