Tower of Texas, patiently ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, powered up the rail to win Sunday’s $233,200 Grade 2 King Edward Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Roger Attfield for owners Thomas Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth, Tower of Texas made his grass debut a successful one while earning his first added-money score in the one-turn mile over the world-famous E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The four-year-old son of Street Sense finished well back in the 2014 Queen’s Plate, his final sophomore start, and returned to the races on May 10 as a gelding demonstrating a powerful turn of foot to annex a seven furlong allowance tilt. Last time out, the flashy bay closed again to win an off-the-turf sprint with da Silva aboard.
Stacked Deck set the pace in the King Edward marking off splits of :23.21 and :45.14 as Excaper, the 9-5 mutuel favourite, stalked from second position.
Tower of Texas settled into sixth position in a field of seven, just five lengths off the pace, through the early running and closed along the rail late in the turn, as Excaper and Stacked Deck drifted out to the middle of the track. Tower of Texas, full of run, was well in command by midstretch en route to a 2 3/4-length score over a rallying Platinum Glory. Stacked Deck stayed on for show money. Tower of Texas covered the mile in 1:32.45.
Attfield was full of praise for Tower of Texas.
“I was pretty confident that he’d run well on the turf, but I’d never been able to work him on it,” said Attfield. “He had trained so well going into this race. He went into it such a happy, healthy horse. I’m so proud of him. He’s a lovely horse.”
The Hall of Fame conditioner admitted to being worried in the opening stages of the King Edward.
“I was a little concerned when he was a little closer to the pace than where we wanted him, but Eurico rode him really well because he let the (speed) go on and sat patiently until the head of the lane, and then he just exploded,” said Attfield.
Tower of Texas, bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms Inc. and Rod Ferguson, banked $144,000 in victory while improving his record to 4-3-2 from 12 starts.
He paid $9.30, $4.80 and $3.50 combining with Platinum Glory ($10.40, $5.60) for an $85.60 (1-4) exactor. A 1-4-7 triactor (Stacked Deck, $3.60 to show) was worth $415.70, while a $1 Superfecta [1-4-7-5 Excaper)] came back $542.85.