Pink Lloyd, under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva, earned his fourth consecutive added-money crown after taking Sunday's $140,000 Grade 3 Vigil Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Robert Tiller for owner Entourage Stable, Pink Lloyd, a five-year-old son of Old Forester, came into the seven-furlong stake off triumphs in this year's editions of the Jacques Cartier, New Providence and Achievement.
And once again, the chestnut took centre stage on the Toronto oval Tapeta, delivering another critically-acclaimed performance to notch his first graded stakes victory.
Pink Lloyd took a front-row seat from the outset, breaking sharply and marking the opening quarter in :23.49 with Great Wide Open sitting a head back just to his outside in second position. Pink Lloyd was still calling the shots after a half clocked in :46.08 and led the field through the turn as Western Elegance and We Deer You began to rally.
When da Silva called on Pink Lloyd for his best, the gelding responded and had plenty left in the tank to fend off We Deer You by 2 ¼-lengths in a final running time of 1:22.18. Western Elegance completed the triactor.
“He ran very, very hard the last quarter,” praised da Silva. “My horse was running very, very relaxed. You saw the end where he really kicked hard. He's a wonderful animal. He's amazing. You ride a horse like this and it gives you such a great feeling. I was frozen after the race.”
For Tiller, it was yet another brilliant effort from a sprint star that can be a handful at times.
“I've been in his stall about four times today and probably 22 times in the last four or five days,” he noted. “He's a gift from God, that's what I think. He's a monster. At the barn, he's difficult. He's a big boy and he loves to make you worry.”
Fortunately for Tiller, Pink Lloyd also loves to win.
“This could be the best sprinter I've ever had,” he said. “He is the best sprinter I've ever had. He's a wonderful horse and it's just an honour to have him. I was worried about all kinds of things today and he just proved me wrong again. He just went out there and did his thing. I love him.”
Pink Lloyd, bred by John Carey, banked $90,000 in victory, while improving his record to 7-1-0 from nine starts.
He paid $2.50 and $2.10, combining with We Deer You ($4.70) for a $9.80 (3-2) exactor. A 3-2-5 triactor (Western Elegance) was worth $79.70, while a $1 Superfecta [3-2-5-6 (Tale of the Nile)] came back $98.85. There was no show wagering.
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