TORONTO, ON – On Sunday, the ageless Woodbine Wonder that is Entourage Stable’s Pink Lloyd won the $125,000 Vigil Stakes (G3) for an unprecedented third straight year with an easy-as-he-pleases effort.
Breaking from the rail as the prohibitive 3/5 favorite under Eurico Da Silva, Pink Lloyd settled into third a lane out while Wyatt’s Town and Sable Island dueled heads apart through opening fractions of :22.36 and :44.51. Tipped out to run three-wide at the top of the stretch, Pink Lloyd strode past the front-runners and continued to separate himself from his foes with every step.
Well in-hand late, the Robert Tiller trainee finished 4 1/2 lengths much the best in a final time of 1:08.68 for the 6-furlong event over the fast synthetic surface. The winning time was 0.63 seconds off of the track record that he set in the 2018 rendition of the Jacques Cartier Stakes.
“I was just sitting behind the speed and, you know, he was running so different today, like way more relaxed than usual,” Da Silva said. “And when I asked him, you know, I’ve never felt an explosion (like that). I’ve been riding for 30 years. This horse just explodes turning home. When I ask him, he responds so fast. He’s an unbelievable horse. I’m so grateful to be a part of this team. I have no words to say how much I appreciate to ride for Bob and the tremendous work he does with this horse. There are a lot of details every single day.”
Though unable to keep pace with the winner, Sable Island fought gamely to nose out Wyatt’s Town for second. Marten Lake finished fourth ahead of Eskiminzin, while Dixie’s Gamble and Circle of Friends were close behind to complete the order of finish.
Pink Lloyd’s win improved his career mark to 24-19-1-1, with every start coming over the Toronto oval. The 7-year-old gelded son of Old Forester, named Canada’s Horse of the Year at the 2017 Sovereign Awards, has now earned $1,140,906.
“He’s the greatest sprinter there ever was in Canada,” Tiller said. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years, I’ve been around here for a little bit. He might just win Horse of the Year again this year, it’s very possible. And you know, he’s never been better. I don’t want to shoot off my mouth because as soon as you open your mouth, you end up eating your words, but he’s never been better. Eurico rode him terrifically today. He’s a monster. He’s more relaxed than he’s ever been. We’ve made some adjustments with him this year and it’s working so far. I thank the good Lord. He’s a wonderful animal and I will never forget him.”
Pink Lloyd returned $3.40 to win and $2.50 to place, while Sable Island paid $5.60 to place. There was no show betting.