Updated on 09/18/2011 12:37AM

Americans sweep Golden Shaheen

Proud Tower Too, David Cohen up, wins Saturday's $2 million Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - America's grip on the world's sprint division is secure.

Proud Tower Too, who has risen to prominence in California in recent months, won Saturday's $2 million Golden Shaheen, leading an American sweep of the first five positions in the 15-horse field.

Ridden by David Cohen, Proud Tower Too was timed in 1:09.86 for the about six-furlong distance on a straightaway, edging Thor's Echo by 1 1/4 lengths. Jet West finished third, followed by Captain Squire and Gaff. The first four finishers are based in California; Gaff is based in Florida.

The five American-based starters collected $1.96 million of the purse for the world's richest sprint.

The victory gave Cohen, owner Daniel Cardenas's Tricar Stable, and trainer Sal Gonzalez their first success in a seven-figure race.

"This is the biggest race of my life," said an overwhelmed Gonzalez. "I knew he was up to it. He ran a dynamite race."

Proud Tower Too was always near the front, though he did not start well after becoming upset in the starting gate, Cohen said. Cohen said Proud Tower trailed by a half-length in the first furlong, took the lead from Thor's Echo midway through the race and extended his lead late.

"I had to get into him," said Cohen. "When I got up to Thor's Echo, I knew I was in a good spot. I was thinking, Hopefully there are no other horses that will outrun me."

Jet West finished two lengths behind Proud Tower Too.

The victory was the fourth consecutive victory in a sprint for Proud Tower Too, 4. He won the On Trust Handicap and Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December, and the Sensational Star Handicap, beating Thor's Echo, at Santa Anita last month.

Bred by Cardenas, the California-bred Proud Tower Too has won 7 of 19 starts and $1,632,264.