Lexie Lou claims Queen's Plate, first leg of Canadian Triple Crown
Filly Lexie Lou won the $1 million Queen's Plate on Sunday at Woodbine, beating Ami's Holiday by 1-1/2 lengths in the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
The Woodbine Oaks winner, ridden by Patrick Husbands, ran 1-1/4 miles in 2:03.94 on the polytrack to give trainer Mark Casse his first Plate victory.
"I've been following the Queen's Plate since I was a little boy. And so to finally win it, I just pinch myself," Casse said. "I thought we'd win it sooner or later. I knew I wasn't going to give up."
Husbands also won the Plate in 2003, when he guided Wando to the Canadian Triple Crown.
"I breezed this filly Saturday, and when I pulled her up I started crying because I couldn't believe I had another Queen's Plate winner," Husbands said. "On the way back to the barn I told the assistant, `Could you tell Mark `I don't think they will beat this filly.' "
Lexie Lou paid $8.20 to win.
Asserting Bear was third in the 15-horse field.
The victory was the fifth in 12 career starts for Lexie Lou, with the $600,000 winner's share boosting her earnings past $1.2 million.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown is the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 29 at Fort Erie.