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TORONTO, ON – Entourage Stable’s Pink Lloyd reached yet another plateau on Thursday, winning the $100,000 Shepperton Stakes for the third time in his illustrious career and tying Paso Doble for the record.
Pink Lloyd broke from the rail as the 1/5 favorite under Rafael Hernandez and saved ground while remaining within striking range. Two foes raced ahead of him and two others flanked him heading into the far turn, which kept the fully-loaded bettors’ choice boxed and in desperate need of running room.
Hernandez was finally able to safely angle Pink Lloyd out at the top of the stretch, and he responded immediately once in the clear. Pink Lloyd strode to the lead at the 1/16 pole under his own power and kicked away handily to win the Ontario-bred stakes by 1 3/4 lengths.
The Robert Tiller trainee completed the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the fast synthetic surface in a final time of 1:16.44.
“Last time, he gave me a little hard time – he had to work hard to get there – but after the race, I told Bob, ‘Now he’s ready, 100%,’” Hernandez said. “He showed up today. He just broke out of the gate, sat behind good, and he just did the best thing he knows how to do… he just switched the lead in the stretch, and ‘Let’s go.’ He knows how to do it, he knows how to win.”
Silent Jimmie took second by 3/4 of a length over Dun Drum, who was a 1/2-length ahead of Not So Quiet after the two set the early pace. Magical Man and Souper Success completed the order of finish.
Pink Lloyd’s win was his third straight and improved his career record to 30-24-1-1. The 8-year-old Old Forester gelding has now earned $1,440,462 and seems to be running as well as ever, according to his connections.
“He’s got the heart and desire to be probably the best sprinter in Canada the last 50 years,” said Tiller, who has won the Shepperton a record six times as a trainer. “He is amazing. He was in trouble all the way. We got the box trip with the one-hole, and it worked out well. Rafii waited and waited.”
Pink Lloyd returned $2.60 to win. There was no place or show betting.
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