December 5, 2023

Tower of Texas proves best in Colonel E.R. Bradley

Tower of Texas earned a belated first U.S. stakes win on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day at Fair Grounds (Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography)

Sporadic forays south of the border had not yielded a big win for the seven-year-old veteran Tower of Texas until Saturday when the Roger Attfield trainee rallied from a few lengths off the pace to capture the $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley H. at Fair Grounds under Florent Geroux.

The 7-2 second choice in a field of nine, Tower of Texas raced in a pocket to the stretch when he moved out and subsequently wore down pacesetters Thatcher Street and Saham in the final furlong to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:44.62 for about 1 1/16 miles on soft turf. He paid $9.20 for owners Thomas Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth.

Exiting a third-place effort in the December 16 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream, Tower of Texas was followed under the wire by Tropical Turf runner-up Galton, who had a neck on Saham with Thatcher Street another neck behind in fourth. Applicator, Special Ops, 2017 Bradley winner Granny’s Kitten, 3-1 favorite Monster Bea, and Dimension rounded out the order of finish.

This was the fourth career stakes win for Tower of Texas, who captured the King Edward (G2) in 2015 and the Connaught Cup (G2) and C$116,000 Labeeb last season, all at Woodbine. Tower of Texas has also placed in two editions each of the King Edward and Play the King (G2), and notably ran dual champion turf mare Tepin to a half-length in the 2016 Woodbine Mile (G1).

A gelded son of Street Sense bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson, Tower of Texas is out of the Grade 2-placed Rare Opportunity, by Danzig Connection, which makes him a half-brother to Grade 2-winning filly Street Sounds and the stakes winner Silver Highlight. Also from the family of Grade 1 winner Love Theway Youare, he traces back to the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Sabin.

In other stakes action:

*Godolphin-owned Cedartown ($8) continued his ascent as a viable New Orleans H. (G2) candidate with a two-length win over Scuba in the $75,000 Louisiana for older horses. Under Joe Bravo, the 3-1 second choice completed 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.18. Hawaakom, the 2017 Louisiana winner, finished third ahead of 4-5 favorite The Player.

Trained by Mike Stidham, Cedartown has now finished first or second in all seven starts. He preceded this win with a 1 3/4-length tally in the $200,000 Zia Park Derby over graded stakes winner Untrapped.

*Mom’s On Strike ($4.80), the 7-5 favorite against eight fillies and mares, got the best of Giada Vegas late to take the $75,000 Marie Krantz Memorial for for owners Carl Moore and Brad Grady. Trained by Joe Sharp and ridden by Adam Beschizza, the five-year-old daughter of First Dude covered about 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:43.72. It was the first career stakes win for Mom’s One Strike, whose best previous finish at the level was a second in the 2016 Pebbles at Belmont Park.

*Yockey’s Warrior ($2.80) sped to his sixth win in his last seven starts posting a 2 1/4-length tally in the $72,000 Duncan F. Kenner under Miguel Mena. The 2-5 choice off a five-length romp in a title defense of the November 23 Thanksgiving H., Yockey’s Warrior covered six furlongs in 1:10.43. He’s owned by the partnership of Madison, Landry, Bernard, Broussard, and trainer Al Stall Jr.