Hall of Fame Inductee, 2012



L’Alezane was destined to become an exceptional performer with Hall of Fame credentials from the moment Montreal industrialist and future Hall of Fame inductee Jean-Louis Levesque purchased the chestnut filly for $101,000 at the Saratoga August sales in 1976.  The consignor was E.P. Taylor and the filly inherited regal breeding – a daughter of 1968 U.S. Horse of the Year Dr. Fager and out of the Northern Dancer mare, Northern Willow.

There were also a couple of other factors that couldn’t be overlooked. Her trainer, Yonnie Starr, had earned accolades year after year with his stock that included Hall of Fame fillies and Horses of the Year Wonder Where, Fanfreluche and La Prevoyante as well as the colt L’Enjoleur.  However, two-year-old fillies rarely win Horse of the Year honors, but L’Alezane did in 1977, accomplishing a feat previously achieved only by La Prevoyante. The vote was unanimous.

Success was immediate. She who won her first five starts, defeating some of the best fillies in North America. After winning the Shady Well at Woodbine she headed for Saratoga, N.Y., winning the Schuylerville and the Adirondack. Her first loss came when she exhausted herself on the lead in the Spinaway and finished fourth. L’Alezane then shipped to Winnipeg, where she easily captured the Futurity.  Next on her schedule was the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, the major race for Canadian bred juvenile fillies.  She romped home by seven lengths under jockey Ron Turcotte.

Despite a setback in the Natalma Stakes under high weight, and over a very soft turf, L’Alezane regrouped when sent to Keeneland for the Alcibiades, Kentucky’s championship race for juvenile fillies. As the heavy favourite, L’Alezane persisted.

One major test remained, the Grade 1 Selima Stakes at Laurel, Md., where L’Alezane would battle Lakeville Miss for North American supremacy. It was a slug fest that L’Alezane would lose.  An unsuccessful claim of foul against Lakeville Miss, the eventual Eclipse Award winner, for bumping through the stretch was disallowed.

It had been a remarkable campaign for the Levesque/Starr filly, which included eight triumphs and six stakes wins.

L’Alezane was listed as the winter book odds favourite for the 1978 Queen’s Plate. She won the Selene stakes but was second in the Canadian Oaks to stable-mate La Voyageuse.  Overskate and Regal Embrace went head-to-head in the Plate, while the gallant L’Alezane finished third at 12-1. L’Alezane concluded her career with twelve victories, seven of which were in stakes races, seven seconds and six third-place finishes, and career earnings of $367,307.