London Tower overcame a slow start to capture Sunday’s $150,000 Fury Stakes, at Woodbine.
Owned and trained by Steve Owens, London Tower, with Alan Garcia up, was forced to race from off the pace for the first time in her career after leaving the gate a step slow in the seven furlong Fury Stakes for Canadian-bred sophomore fillies.
London Tower, by Head Chopper out of Mrs. Donaghy, won two of three juvenile starts, both in front-running fashion, including the 1 1/16-miles Ontario Lassie Stakes to complete her campaign.
Starless Night set the pace in the Fury marking splits of :23.66 and :46.96 with Galina Point and Bears Reflection stalking in close proximity. Starless Night led the field into the turn with Shez a Masterpiece advancing up the rail, while Zia advanced outside of horses.
London Tower, patiently ridden by Garcia, raced wide through the turn and accelerated impressively down the stretch to collar a stubborn Starless Night in the final stride for a 1/2-length win. Galina Point, prominent throughout, stayed on for show. London Tower covered seven furlongs in 1:22.43.
Garcia, aboard London Tower for the first time in the afternoon, rode confidently despite the slow start.
“I was a little worried because she was uncomfortable inside. She was number two (in the gate) and it was taking so long for the break,” said Garcia. “As soon as we broke, she was a step slow and ended up last. So, I thought I would ride her patient and if she was good enough, she would come back on. And, she did it. Now, we know she doesn’t have to be on the lead and we’re looking forward to the next race.”
Garcia was impressed with London Tower’s turn of foot in the stretch run.
“Unbelievable. I had a lot of confidence,” said Garcia. “In the last sixteenth, I put my whip away and let her carry herself. She really impressed me. Even galloping out, nobody could pass me.”
London Tower banked $90,000 in victory while improving her record to 3-0-1 from four career starts.
She paid $6.70, $3.80 and $3.30, combining with Starless Night ($27.50, $14.10) for a $193.60 (2-8) exactor. A 2-8-5 triactor (Galina Point, $9.10 to show) was worth $1201.60, while a $1 Superfecta [2-8-5-6 (Conquest Boogaloo)] came back $2181.40.