It was an American sweep led by California breds in Saturday night's $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, with Proud Tower Too showing the way.
In the six-furlong sprint down the straight, Proud Tower Too, under 21-year-old jockey David Cohen, broke quickly and never gave up in registering a 1 1/4-length win over Thor's Echo, ridden by Corey Nakatani. Jet West, with Garrett Gomez aboard, and Captain Squire, with Victor Espinoa, finished third and fourth, two lengths and 2 1/2 lengths back, respectively. Favored Gaff, partnered with Shaun Bridgmohan, came home fifth.
The first three finishers were California breds as American runners swept the top five placings.
The running time for the 4-year-old homebred Tricar Stable color bearer was 1:09.86.
"I can't even explain how it feels," Cohen said in the winner's circle following the race. "This horse has taken me to my first major stakes win, my first grade I win, and now has brought me here. You can't get better than this."
Proud Tower Too drew post eight in a crowded 15-horse field, but broke alertly and went straight for the lead. The bay son of Proud Irish fell into third and moved up to second down the stretch before fighting his way to the lead and pulling away from Thor's Echo in the late stages.
"I wasn't concerned by the post position," said Sal Gonzalez, trainer of Proud Tower Too. "I knew when my horse comes up and looks him in the eye, he would run -- and he ran a dynamite race."
Proud Tower Too, who won Santa Anita's Malibu (gr. I) at the end of 2005, was produced from the Irish Tower mare Dora's Tower. He has won seven of 19 lifetime starts. Saturday's winning share of $1.2 million boosted the colt's earnings to $1,632,264.
Agnes Jedi (JPN) finished sixth, followed by Tropical Star (IRE), Perfectly Ready (AUS), Azul de Guanabara (BRZ), Thajja (IRE), Heart Alone (BRZ), The Lord (ARG), Howick Falls (USA), Conroy (USA), and Raging Creek (USA).