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Jan 16, 2015

Canada's Lexie Lou goes for La Canada victory


Arcadia, CA ( - Lexie Lou, last year's top Canadian 3-year- old filly, heads a field of eight older females for Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita.

Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, Lexie Lou is the 6-5 morning line favorite and has drawn post 3 in the 1 1/16-mile stakes and will once again be ridden by Corey Nakatani in her seasonal debut.

Lexie Lou won last year's Queen's Plate at Woodbine versus 3-year-old males just three weeks after defeating fellow 3-year-old fillies in the Woodbine Oaks. The filly finished second to California Chrome in the Hollywood Derby on Nov. 29 over Del Mar's turf course.

The Canadian-bred 4-year-old has won seven of 16 career starts for $1,429,714.

Sam's Sister is the 2-1 second pick and will start from the immediate inside of Lexie Lou with Elvis Trujillo again riding. The 4-year-old chestnut filly is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer who is also a co-owner.

A veteran of five starts, Sam's Sister will be making just her third start on dirt in the La Canada. She won the seven-furlong La Brea over Santa Anita's main track on Dec. 26 and now tries two turns for the first time.

"She's a very nice horse. I have to thank Mr. Hollendorfer for giving me the opportunity to ride such a nice horse," Trujillo said after winning the La Brea.

Sam's Sister has banked $307,450 with four wins from her five career starts.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will saddle Jojo Warrior, the 4-1 third choice, with Martin Garcia riding from post 5. The 4-year-old filly, owned by WinStar Farm and Zayat Stables, is coming off an eighth-place finish in the La Brea.

"I was surprised at how poorly she ran," Baffert said. "She was training great going into it, but you know what? She wasn't effective going one turn last year, and when I finally stretched her out, she was a different filly.

"She's been training well for this race, so I think she doesn't want any part of one turn. That's it. She doesn't want to be rushed."

Last August Jojo Warrior won the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar more than two months after claiming the Sunland Oaks. On Sept. 20, after setting the early pace she finished third behind Untapable in Parx Racing's Cotillion.

Jojo Warrior has won three of eight lifetime starts and $372,231.

Here is the complete field for the 41st running of the La Canada in post position order: Fleet of Gold, Alex Solis, 12-1; Sam's Sister, Elvis Trujillo, 2-1; Lexie Lou, Corey Nakatani, 6-5; Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Jojo Warrior, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Une Cherise, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Ramona's Wildcat, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1 and Colonel Joan, Gary Stevens, 12-1.

Post time for the La Canada will be approximately 7 p.m. ET.

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