London Tower dug in gamely down the lane to turn back the challenge of Galina Point and win Wednesday night’s $125,400 Eternal Search Stakes, at Woodbine.
London Tower, a homebred daughter of Head Chopper owned and trained by Steve Owens, broke slowly in all three of her starts this meet, but overcame the issue in the Eternal Search, a 1 1/16-miles ‘Poly’ event for Ontario-sired sophomores to secure her third career stakes win.
The talented bay rallied from last of eight to win the Fury Stakes in her seasonal debut on May 3, but could not bridge the gap after difficult starts in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, when second, defeated 1 3/4-lengths by Academic, and last time out in the $250,000 Bison City Stakes, when third, a nose and a neck behind Brooklynsway and Eternal Search rival Galina Point.
Gary Boulanger took over from Alan Garcia aboard London Tower for the Eternal Search and the filly broke alertly to chase a front-running Ashford Calling into the turn while being carried a little wide by Internal Bourbon.
Ashford Calling set splits of :23.77 and :47.50 with Boggie, Internal Bourbon and London Tower, the even-money favourite, tracking her early foot from the rail out, with Galina Point, second choice in the wagering at 2-1, last of nine.
Internal Bourbon, with Alan Garcia aboard, burst through along the rail approaching the turn with London Tower making a similar outside move to overtake the pacesetter as Galina Point, with Patrick Husbands up, also urged into contention. London Tower took command at the top of the lane and was quickly taken on by Galina Point who tried, but could not get by a determined London Tower. Miss Sea rallied late for show money. London Tower, a neck winner, stopped the clock in 1:44.41.
Boulanger wasn’t worried about losing ground into the first turn.
“He (Garcia, Internal Bourbon) parked me out in the first turn, which I expected. I knew I had lots and wasn’t too concerned,” said Boulanger. “I figured at the three-eighths pole, the race would really start from there. I was in great position and it was just a matter of when Galina Point was coming. When Patrick came to me at the head of the lane, she dug in and wouldn’t let her by me.”
Owens, who stands Head Chopper at his farm in Kleingburg, Ontario, had considered sending London Tower to the grassy Wonder Where Stakes, third jewel of the filly Triple Tiara, but decided on the Eternal Search as a potential easier spot.
“This was for confidence. I know she’s as good as a lot of the three-year-old fillies on the grounds and tonight she proved it,” said Owens. “She’s a hard tryer. She fights every step of the way. She broke well tonight. We’ve had some gate issues with her, but that’s her…she gets stubborn.”
London Tower banked $75,000 in victory while improving her record to 4-1-2 from seven starts.
She paid $4, $2.30 and $2.10, combining with Galina Point ($2.70, $2.40) for a $7.60 (5-8) exactor. A 5-8-9 triactor (Miss Sea, $3.50 to show) was worth $52.20, while a $1 Superfecta [5-8-9-7 (Take Back Ya Poils)] came back $128.40.