TORONTO, June 25, 2020 – Canada’s reigning three-time Champion Male Sprinter Pink Lloyd kicked off his eight-year-old campaign with a record fourth straight victory in the $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes and recorded his 20th stakes win overall on Thursday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Jockey Rafael Hernandez, who partnered with Pink Lloyd for his previous 1:08.05 track record victory in the 2018 edition of the Jacques Cartier, was reunited with the chestnut gelding for the 67th running of the Grade 3 six-furlong sprint.
Pink Lloyd, carrying 124 pounds, stalked three-wide just off the lead through fractions of :22.23 and :44.53 before taking over command down the stretch to score by two lengths in 1:09.61. Malibu Secret finished second off a ground-saving trip ahead of Not So Quiet while pacesetter Circle of Friends completed the finish order in the compact field of four.
“He broke well, he did his thing,” said Hernandez. “He’s older, he knows how to win. He can come from anywhere, he just does his thing. He showed up today. He’s one of the best, he does his job. He don’t give up, never.”
Hernandez, who has competed against Pink Lloyd in 20 prior starts, noted it was nice to be aboard for the win instead of chasing the revered Old Forester gelding.
“That’s right, you know how many times I’ve tried to figure out how I can put my horse in different positions to try to beat him,” said Hernandez. “The only way I can [win] is when I’m on him.”
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, Pink Lloyd now boasts 23 wins from 28 starts lifetime with his purse earnings soaring over $1.8 million for his Entourage Stable ownership group.
Hall of Famer Robert Tiller’s beloved trainee now counts the Jacques Cartier grand slam among his impressive list of accomplishments.
“This is one of the greatest sprinters that’s ever raced in Canada and I think his record speaks for itself,” said Tiller of the six-time Sovereign Award winner, who was named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2017. “He really has a lot of heart, a lot of desire. He wants to do it, he loves winning and I don’t know if there will ever be another one like him… not for me, that’s for sure.
“A lot of hard work at the barn, there’s a lot of details that go along with him. But when you’re standing here like this, it all works out. He’s such a champion, such a sweetheart and I love him dearly.”
Sent postward as the overwhelming 1-5 favourite, Pink Lloyd paid just $2.50 for a $2 win ticket. There was no place or show wagering.
The field was reduced to just four starters with Dixie’s Gamble scratched, making it one of the smallest fields that Pink Lloyd has faced.
Often scaring away the competition, he’s conquered small four-horse fields on three other occasions but has successfully competed in a field as big as 12 horses when winning last year’s Jacques Cartier Stakes. His initial Jacques Cartier win in 2017 was his first stakes victory and the start of an unprecedented 11-race win streak.
Essence Hit Man won three consecutive editions of the Jacques Cartier Stakes from 2011-2013.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues, without spectators, on Friday afternoon. Post time for the seven-race program is 1 p.m.
RACE REPLAY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GV8axPmkjI