Saturday, November 4, 2017
TORONTO, November 4 - Tower of Texas circled a compact field of four to claim his second stakes victory of the meet in Saturday’s $100,000 Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
Roger Attfield trains Tower of Texas, who also won the Connaught Cup (Grade 2) in his season’s debut, and third-place finisher Shakhimat.
Leaving from the post one, Tower of Texas was caught inside of two-time defending Labeeb champion Glenville Gardens as the top pairing of Shakhimat and Field of Courage battled for the leading role. However, jockey Jesse Campbell maneuvered Tower of Texas outside of Glenville Gardens and Gary Boulanger down the backstretch and circled wide of his foes to prevail by half a length in 1:38.87 going approximately one mile over a yielding turf. In a photo finish for place, Glenville Gardens edged out Shakhimat, who was the 4-5 favourite following his September 23 track record performance over 1-1/16 miles.
“I had to ease him back maybe about half a length to get behind and jump Gary’s horse, but I wanted to get there as soon as I could,” said Campbell after the race. “The last thing I wanted was, when it was time to get serious, I didn’t want to be stuck on the inside and have to wait. This horse does seem to run better on the outside.”
“Jesse did well riding him today in the respect of keeping him up there closer in a four-horse field like that,” said Attfield, noting Shakhimat struggled with the turf conditions.
“I thought that Shakhimat probably would struggle with it a little bit, which he did. He didn’t fire like he would do normally and 'Tower,' he always runs a good race,” said Attfield of the six-year-old Street Sense-Rare Opportunity gelding.
“I’m really proud of him. He’s just a nice horse to have in the stable, for sure.”
Tower of Texas improved his career record to 6-8-4 from 26 starts and pushed his lifetime earnings over $800,000 for owners Thomas F. Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth. He was bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson.
Tower of Texas returned $8.80, $3.90 and $2.10. He combined with Glenville Gardens ($3.90, $2.10) for a 1-5 exacta worth $35.70. A $1 trifecta of 1-5-2 (Shakhimat, $2.10) paid $28.40 and a $1 superfecta of 1-5-2-4 (Field of Courage) returned $26.80. Money Talker and Dimension were scratched.
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