NEW ORLEANS, LA – Thomas F. Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth’s Tower of Texas towered over his foes in the stretch and left the field in his shadow en route to winning Saturday’s $125,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds.
Off well under Florent Geroux, Tower of Texas tucked inside and sat off the pace while Saham and Thatcher Street took turns setting splits of :25.19, :50.50, and 1:14.49. As the field hit the top of the stretch, Tower of Texas tipped out and commenced a strong rally down the stretch. Taking command at the 1/16-pole, the Roger Attfield trainee kicked away to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:44.62 for the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
“It was a great trip,” said Geroux, who also won aboard Stronger Than Ever in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes one race prior. “I was right in the pocket all the way. The horse was very kind. He’s an older horse, so he knows what to do and knows when to go. He was really trying hard, and once I got clear, that was it.”
A four-horse photo finish followed behind. Galton was ultimately ruled to take second by a neck over Saham, who was a neck past Thatcher Street for third, who in turn was a neck in front of Applicator for fourth. Special Ops took sixth, with Granny’s Kitten in seventh, the lukewarm 3/1 favorite Monster Bea in eighth, and Dimension rounding out the nine-horse field. Avanzare was scratched.
The win was Tower of Texas’ first in as many starts at Fair Grounds after having raced a majority of his career at Woodbine. The 7-year-old gelded son of Street Sense improved his record to 28-7-8-5 with career earnings of $890,989.
“It was suggested by Roger to come here,” Dilworth said. “When he said come to New Orleans and Fair Grounds, you got good food, good horse racing. What else can I say? He’s been so good to us. We’ve been so blessed with him, and as long as he’s enjoying running, we’ll be there for the ride.
Tower of Texas returned $9.20 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Galton brought back $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Saham paid $8.20 to show.