Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Woodbine Oaks champ Lexie Lou, the lone filly in the field, won Sunday's $1 million, 155th Queen's Plate at Woodbine Race Course.
The 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate is Canada's most significant thoroughbred race and begins the Canadian Triple Crown, which also includes the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie and Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine.
Lexie Lou, trained by Mark Casse for Gary Barber, broke from post 14 in the 15-horse field and was the 3-1 second pick behind We Miss Artie, the 9-5 favorite.
The filly sat comfortably off the pace that was set by Asserting Bear. We Miss Artie was racing well off the pace and began to advance on the far turn as Lexie Lou also began to gain ground. We Miss Artie joined the leaders on the final turn with Lexie Lou assuming second behind Asserting Bear.
Lexie Lou, ridden by Patrick Husbands, had the lead at the top of the stretch with Ami's Holiday second and Asserting Bear third. We Miss Artie was unable to stay with the leaders.
The filly drove through the stretch to post a 1 1/2-length win over Ami's Holiday with Asserting Bear getting third. We Miss Artie was fourth followed by Niigon Express, Lions Bay, Matador, Heart to Heart, Coltimus Prime, Athenian Guard, Cap in Hand, One Destiny, Man o' Bear, Tower of Texas and Majestic Sunset.
Lexie Lou covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.94 over Woodbine's synthetic main track.
"Everybody left there (the gate) running," Husbands said. "My filly was so relaxed. I had so much confidence in her going into this race. I begged Mark at the (post position) draw, I just want the outside.
"I tried to get first run on him (Luis Contreras, aboard Ami's Holiday). It's an honour and a pleasure to ride for these connections and Mark, I win the Queen's Plate for you."
The filly became the 35th female to win the Queen's Plate in its history and the sixth to win both the Oaks and the Plate. Winning Canada's most prestigious race was worth $600,000 for the 3-year-old who has never run at any other track. Lexie Lou has five wins in 12 career starts for $1,249,250.
Veteran trainer Mark Casse won the race for the first time, but jockey Patrick Husbands previously won the Queen's Plate aboard Wando in 2003.
"I was as confident as you can be. But there are so many things that have to go right. And there are so many things that can go wrong. But we were fairly confident," Casse exclaimed, "We'll see (about the July 29 Prince of Wales). It's a possibility."
Lexie Lou paid $8.20, $4.50 and $3.30. Ami's Holiday returned $9.70 and $5.80, and Asserting Bear paid $6.00 to show.