06/30/2017 8:40AM

Tower of Texas looks to avoid bounce in King Edward

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Michael Burns
Tower of Texas (right) wins the Connaught Cup at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Tower of Texas ran one of his gutsiest races when he won the Grade 2 Connaught Cup off a long break. He will try to keep his roll going in the Grade 2, $175,000 King Edward Stakes on Sunday’s Queen’s Plate card at Woodbine.

Tower of Texas captured the one-mile King Edward on the local turf in 2015 and was third in last year’s edition following an extended layoff. His best effort was arguably a second to Tepin in last year’s Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, but his nose score over Commute and Calgary Cat on June 3 in the seven-furlong Connaught Cup was nearly run in course-record time.

Trainer Roger Attfield has a great deal of admiration for the 6-year-old, who was gelded prior to his lucrative 2015 campaign.

“He’s a lovely horse,” Attfield said. “Every year, he’s had a problem, and I thought maybe he wouldn’t come back this time. He’s a real professional.”

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KEY CONTENDERS

Tower of Texas

Last 3 Beyers: 103-88-102

◗ Attfield has excellent numbers with horses competing the second time after a long layoff, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tower of Texas regress off his taxing comeback performance.

Dragon Bay, by Parading

Last 3 Beyers: 96-89-85

◗ His tendency to lug in through the stretch was the cause of his two disqualifications last summer, but trainer Stu Simon got him running straight when he won the English Channel Stakes at Belmont last October and the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes here May 20 on the Tapeta.

“Last fall, we took the blinkers off him and ran him with earplugs,” Simon said. “Ever since then, he’s run straight and true. He wasted two or three races laying in down the lane. The earplugs and the blinkers off seem to have done the trick.”

◗ Simon said he opted for this race over Saturday’s Grade 3 Dominion Day on Tapeta because of the surface.

“I think he’s a better turf horse,” Simon said. “We want to go the turf route and [point] to the Woodbine Mile until he proves to us that he isn’t good enough.”

Monster Bea, by Hat Trick

Last 3 Beyers: 95-85-92

◗ He closed wide from sixth to just miss in a third-level optional claimer June 9 at Belmont. This will be his first Woodbine start, and he should be well suited to this roomy course.

Hootenanny, by Quality Road

Last 3 Beyers: 92-92-92

◗ He was cross-entered in the Grade 2 Highlander, in which he also drew the outside post. The 5-year-old hasn’t won a stakes since his productive 2-year-old campaign in Europe and the United States.