06/03/2017 5:59PM

Tower of Texas noses out Commute in Connaught Cup

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Michael Burns
Tower of Texas (right), under Eurico Da Silva, just nails Commute at the wire of the Connaught Cup.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — The slight favorite Tower of Texas closed with determination to take the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes in a three-way photo under Eurico Da Silva at Woodbine on Saturday.

Tower of Texas raced about five lengths in arrears in sixth on the backstretch, as Commute set a rapid middle pace in the seven-furlong sprint. Tower of Texas awaited room early in the stretch, and then rallied strongly inside of the wide-closing Calgary Cat to nail Commute on the wire by a nose. Calgary Cat finished another head back in third in the quality nine-horse field.

Over firm turf, the hand-time final clocking was 1:19.40, which was just .02 of a second off the course record.  

“This horse has a big heart,” Da Silva said. “He was fighting the entire stretch. All he wanted to do is catch [Commute]. I was whipping him without much power because he was giving everything he could to catch that horse.”

Tower of Texas ($8.20) earned $126,000 of the $196,750 purse for owners Thomas Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth. Off an eight-month layoff, Tower of Texas, a 6-year-old son of Street Sense, gave trainer Roger Attfield his fourth victory in the Connaught Cup.

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“He’s a lovely horse,” Attfield said. “He got hurt two years in a row, and went back to the farm in Kentucky. This last year, I thought it was probably the last time I was going to see him, and he came in the spring and said ‘Come on, let’s get going’.” He trained really, really well up to this race. He was ready to go today.”