Thursday, October 26, 2017
TORONTO, October 26 - The talented chestnut Pink Lloyd, in the midst of a six-race win streak, has been a rock for trainer Robert Tiller in 2017 and the band will look to keep the ball rolling in Sunday's $125,000 Overskate Stakes, at Woodbine.
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, the five-year-old son of Old Forester is a model of consistency with nine wins from 11 career starts. In 2017, Hall of Fame trainer Tiller has kept the sprinter in fine fettle while reeling off scores in the Jacques Cartier, New Providence, Achievement, Grade 3 Vigil, Shepperton and Kenora Stakes.
Pink Lloyd arrived at Woodbine to prepare for this campaign nearly nine months ago now on a chilly February morning and Tiller is still taken aback by how far they've come.
"Here we are how many months later and we're trying to win seven stakes in a row. To win seven races in a row seems impossible at Woodbine, to win seven stakes in a row is unheard of," said Tiller. "We're trying to accomplish something I don't ever remember a horse doing at Woodbine and I've been here for 53 years and training for 46."
Tiller is certainly proud of Pink Lloyd's many achievements this season and as he looks at the pictures adorning the wall of his barn office, he's reminded of some of his past equine stars who shone bright on the track.
"A sprinter like Forever Grand (multiple GSW, $1,008,394 in earnings) was a good horse. Win City (Canada's 2001 Horse of the Year) probably should have won the Queen's Plate and went on to beat the filly (Dancethruthedawn) at Fort Erie and won the Prince of Wales,” he recalls. “Brass in Pocket won a million ($1,146,023) at a time when that was hard to do. We've had many, many good ones but ‘Lloyd’ is a very game horse."
While Pink Lloyd has certainly earned a place on Tiller's office wall of fame for his exploits in 2017, there's still much left to do for the chestnut as he looks to add to his resume for Horse of the Year honours.
On Sunday, Pink Lloyd will tackle a field of nine in the seven furlong Overskate from the outside post under leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva.
"The horse is going into it well. He's pointed for this race, he's very happy and very sound," said Tiller.
Last time out, Pink Lloyd endured a difficult trip to victory in the Kenora when holding off Jacks Escarpment for a 3/4-length victory and needed some time off after.
"The last time he had to carry 126lbs with three shoes on him and hurt his right front foot and still won," said Tiller. "The horse came up to him and he said, 'I ain’t gonna let you by.'"
A versatile sort, Pink Lloyd has won both on the lead and from off the pace this season.
"That's what is so good about him. If someone wants to outrun him, good luck to you. Go ahead, he can relax. And if no one wants it, he can do it on his own. That will be up to Eurico," said Tiller.
Da Silva has a Woodbine-best 30 stakes wins in 2017 and is chasing the meet record of 36 held jointly by Avelino Gomez (1966) and Todd Kabel (2004).
Tiller will entrust da Silva to engineer a winning trip with the handy horse.
"He loves to have a horse to run at and he has natural speed. As long as he goes over in good order he'll try his eyeballs out," said Tiller. "It's horse racing and you have to go over and do it every time. You have to get a trip and have things go well. You need a little luck too. All we can do is the best we can at our end and leave the rest up to the horse and Eurico."
The six furlong Grade 2 Kennedy Road, slated for November 25, looks a likely final destination for Pink Lloyd in what has already been a tremendous campaign. However, Tiller is looking ahead only as far as Sunday and the goal of winning seven straight stakes.
"It would be a great accomplishment and I'd love to see the horse do it. It would be a great thrill for everybody including me," he said.
And there will be a lot of racing fans that would love to see the musically-monikered mister keep the streak alive.
"He's a people's horse. This is a very competitive business but people have always been very kind in how they appreciate the horse," said Tiller. "I've heard a lot of great compliments after the wins and that's a great feeling in this business."
The Overskate is slated as Race 6 on Sunday’s 10-race card which also includes the $225,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes. First post time is 1PM. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
FIELD FOR THE $125,000 OVERSKATE STAKES
POST / HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER
1 / Three Ring Circus / Gary Boulanger / Steven Chircop
2 / Roxy's Vision / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Ian Black
3 / Singandcryindubai / Rafael Hernandez / Norm McKnight
4 / Kingsport / Patrick Husbands / Sid Attard
5 / Jacks Escarpment / Luis Contreras / Josie Carroll
6 / Cheburashka / Alan Garcia / Norm McKnight
7 / Boreal Spirit / Jesse Campbell / Jennifer Shafer
8 / Katalox / David Moran / Ricky Griffith
9 / Pink Lloyd / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Robert Tiller
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