TORONTO, August 15, 2020 – Sprint superstar Pink Lloyd claimed an elusive Bold Venture crown in his third attempt, earning his 25th career win during Saturday’s stakes-filled card at Woodbine Racetrack.
Multiple Sovereign Award winner and 22-time stakes champion Pink Lloyd had finished fifth in the 2018 running of the Grade 3 main track sprint and was declared a non-starter in the 2019 edition when he broke through the starting gate early. (Yorkton won the last two editions of the race.)
In his third Bold Venture attempt, the Robert Tiller trainee ventured boldly between the front-running foes to add a new feat to his impressive resume.
With Rafael Hernandez aboard, Pink Lloyd settled behind pacesetters Roaring Forties and Malibu Secret through opening fractions of :23.33 and :45.60 before splitting those rivals down the lane then holding off a late charge from Olympic Runner in 1:16.03. Pink Lloyd persevered in the 6-1/2-furlong dash by a neck.
"Yeah, this is the first time I've had to ask him,” said Hernandez. “He broke well, there was no pace in the race so I had to play it by ear, put him behind a horse...those other two horses made the pace and I just sat behind them and waited for the time to push the button.
"I don't want to be in the front that's why I tried keeping him outside, get him relaxed and settled down and he did it. He settled down, sat behind the two horses that made the pace and just waited to turn for home."
While it was the first Bold Venture victory for Pink Lloyd, Tiller earned his third title. The Hall of Fame horseman first won the event in 1977 with Pres de Tu and again in 2006 courtesy of Are You Serious.
"He made up for me because I won the race  years ago at the old Greenwood Racetrack with a horse called Pres de Tu so I really wanted to see him win it,” said Tiller. “He's done everything, he keeps doing everything, he overcame a bad trip today for him -- he loves to run at horses, not be squeezed in between horses -- and I think he kind of thought it was over, and that horse come running, run a big race, so we win again. It's the 22nd stakes win, 25th win of his life.
“I'm in this game a long time and there will never be another horse like him. And I don't think, honestly, he doesn't like the heat and he was kind of flat today -- everybody was on post parade -- but he really wasn't as sharp as he can get so when you combine 128 pounds – when you go to put the weight on this horse in the paddock and that big lead weight pad gets on him – you realize what kind of a horse this is. He's an icon, I just love him to death, I really do."
Pink Lloyd, overcoming a field high-weight of 128 pounds, was the popular pick at odds of 3-5 and returned $3.20 to win and $2.10 to place. He combined with Olympic Runner ($4.50 to place) for a $2 exacta worth $11.90. There was no show wagering.
Malibu Secret and Roaring Forties finished third and fourth, respectively, with Magical Man, White Flag and Dun Drum rounding out the field. Smart Remark was scratched.
Following a perfect six-for-six season in 2019, Pink Lloyd remains undefeated in three starts this year (Grade 3 Jacques Cartier, Shepperton and Grade 3 Bold Venture).
Bred in Ontario by John Carey and owned by the Entourage Stable, the eight-year-old gelded son of Old Forester and Gladiator Queen is now 25-for-30 with career earnings just shy of the $2 million mark.
"He's eight years old, these are four-year-olds and five-year-olds and he just keeps doing it and doing it,” said Tiller. “I just cannot believe a horse could stay this good in every season of the year and keep winning. He's a blessing.”