TORONTO, ON – The Entourge Stable-owned fan favorite Pink Lloyd bounced back big on Sunday, resuming his winning ways in the Grade 3, $125,000 Vigil Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking from the far outside post 6 under Eurico Da Silva as the 2-5 favorite, Pink Lloyd sat in mid-pack near early leader Yorkton through opening splits of :22.11 and :44.93. Brushing slightly with Jacks Escarpment as he made his move in the far turn, Pink Lloyd hit the top of the stretch in full stride and needed little encouragement from there. The Robert Tiller trainee drew off to hit the line with a 2-length advantage in a final time of 1:09.26 for the 6-furlong sprint over the main track’s all-weather surface.
“This horse, he’s a super horse,” said Da Silva, who took the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes earlier on the card. “He was running relaxed. In the turn, it was over. When you need him, he’s there for you. The post position really helped. But, he was very quiet inside the gate today. He was very relaxed. I want to thank the gate crew, they are wonderful people and always do their best for us.”
Yorkton ran on well to hold second by 2 1/4 lengths over Jacks Escarpment. Circle of Friends, Sweet Grass Creek, and Sweet Romance completed the order of finish.
Pink Lloyd’s win improved his stellar record to 15-1-1 in 18 starts, all at Woodbine, with earnings of $894,639. The reigning Canadian Horse of the Year had established a run of 11 straight victories before a flat-running third last out interrupted his streak. Trainer Robert Tiller later found that the 6-year-old gelded son of Old Forester had a spiked temperature, possibly leading to his off-effort.
“Two days after the race, he hit 102.1, and a normal temperature for a horse is 99.9,” Tiller said. “We weren’t really going to run him in this race, but he was so good this week that we had to run him. He’s a joy and we’re blessed to have him. He’s a great gift from God. We love him, and I want to thank my barn and (exercise rider) Rafael Sanchez. We changed his training this week and I believe that had a lot to do with his gate antics. He was more relaxed today.”
Pink Lloyd returned $2.80 to win and $2.10 to place, while Yorkton paid $5.40 to place. There was no show betting.