London Tower wins the Ontario Lassie Stakes.

London Tower wins the Ontario Lassie Stakes.

Michael Burns

London Tower Stands Tall in Ontario Lassie

Front-running filly dominates juvenile rivals in 1 1/6-mile Polytrack test Nov. 30.

Odds-on favorite London Tower ran away with the $131,385 Ontario Lassie Stakes (VIDEO) for 2-year-old fillies by 6 1/2 lengths Nov. 30 at Woodbine with Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard.

Bred, owned, and trained by Steve Owens, the front-running bay daughter of Head Chopper posted her second win in three lifetime starts, all at Woodbine.

London Tower took command over her four Ontario-bred opponents on the clubhouse turn. The 9-10 choice put away Galina Point in the stretch after her challenger advanced to her flanks rounding the final turn. London Tower then drew off in the final furlong to win under a strong drive.

The final time for Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event was 1:44.73. Galina Point, the 123-pound topweight ridden by Patrick Husbands, was second by 7 1/2 lengths over Wanna Win and Justin Stein. Jersey Jules was next, while February Rose trailed.

Shez a Masterpiece was an important scratch after she ran third as the favorite against males in Woodbine's Coronation Futurity a day earlier.

After getting the early lead from Jersey Jules, London Tower posted tepid quarter-mile fractions of :24.94, :50.13, and 1:13.96 before opening up by 2 1/2 lengths at the furlong mark. She ran the final sixteenth in :06.43 while pulling away from Galina Point.

"I thought if I could get away with an easy enough half, that if I needed to, I could use her for that third quarter and gain myself a couple lengths through the turn," said Wilson. "We were engaged on the backside, but it was such an easy half, when I let her out a notch going into the turn I knew I had a lot of horse and a lot of gears."

London Tower debuted Oct. 4 at Woodbine with 7 3/4-length romp over maidens going seven furlongs with Wilson aboard. The filly stepped into stakes company her next time out, giving way grudgingly and finishing third after setting the pace in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes Nov. 2.

Her Ontario Lassie triumph was worth $78,831 and boosted her lifetime earnings to $125,029.

Carrying 116 pounds, the winner paid $3.80 and $2.30, topping an $8.10 exacta with South Ocean Stakes winner Galina Point, who returned $2.70 to place. There was no show wagering.

London Tower is the first foal produced by the unraced Military mare Mrs. Donaghy. The dam was bred back to Owens' stallion Head Chopper for 2015.

Head Chopper has provided Owen a number of thrills with limited runners this year, including La Prevoyante Stakes winner Zazinga.

Under Owens' tutelage, Head Chopper compiled a record of 5-6-7 from 30 starts in a racing career that spanned five seasons from 2005 to 2009.

"I'm so proud of that horse. I trained him from day one. We had fun racing and we're having a lot of fun now, too," said Owens.

He noted that London Tower owns a distinctly different personality than her humble sire.

"She's mean, she's nasty. That's what separates her," laughed Owens. "Head Chopper is a gentleman, but this filly just wants to be the boss."