Undefeated this season in five stakes events, Pink Lloyd is among the stars headlining the lucrative Canadian Millions Stakes Night on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at Woodbine Racetrack.
The mid-week evening program will showcase Canadian Premier Yearling Sale graduates in six stakes events with a total of $900,000 in purses up for grabs. First race post time is set for 6:45 p.m. The 2017 Canadian Premier Yearling Sale will follow on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion.
Entourage Stable’s Pink Lloyd will put his win streak on the line in the evening’s $125,000 Kenora Stakes for three-year-olds and up to be contested over six furlongs. The Robert Tiller trainee’s recent string of success includes the Jacques Cartier Stakes, New Providence Stakes, Achievement Stakes, Vigil Stakes (Gr. 3) and Shepperton Stakes in rein to Woodbine’s meet-leading jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
“All is well, he’s doing well,” said Tiller of the Canadian Horse of the Year contender. “We’re trying to win six stakes in a row, which is an awful hard thing to do. I can’t remember the last horse that has won six stakes in a row, never mind six races in a row.”
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, the son of Old Forester out of Gladiator Queen was a $28,446 yearling purchase in 2013. Tiller knew from day one that Pink Lloyd had star potential, but it was just a matter of getting him to the races despite various issues as a youngster.
“He had a lot of little issues as a two-year-old and three-year-old — everything from curbs and hawks to tibia problems and foot problems. There was always something before we got him to the races, but he’s won eight out of 10 and one second,” said Tiller. “At the end of the day, he’s a super horse and horses like that are hard to find. We’re hoping we can get six in a row – all we can do is try. We believe he’s ready to run.”
Patience has paid off for the connections of the five-year-old chestnut gelding, who has amassed $433,214 in purse earnings since his winning debut at Woodbine one year ago.
“The owners were very patient and we were very patient and it’s paid off for us I believe,” said the Hall of Fame trainer. “He’s closing in a half a million dollars in earnings so he’s been wonderful and let’s hope he can do more good.”
Pink Lloyd will face off with his stablemate and the only mare in the field, the 2016 Champion Female Sprinter River Maid, who has earned $412,240 lifetime and was a runner-up in last year’s Kenora to the Josie Carroll trainee Jacks Escarpment, one of many 2016 sales stakes champions seeking to defend their titles on Wednesday.
“She’s been fighting some elements this year. If this is not her last start, her next start will be her last start and she’s in the Fall Keeneland sale,” said Tiller, who trains the five-year-old Where’s the Ring-Rivermaid Dancing mare for The Very Dry Stable. “She’s been wonderful and I believe with this small field she’ll come running and hopefully get a good part of the purse. She’s going into the race in good order.”
Tiller will also send reigning Algoma Stakes champion Sweater Weather postward on Wednesday’s action-packed program. Owned by Frank Di Guilio Jr., the Milwaukee Brew-Susur mare is also approaching the half-million dollar earnings mark and is the richest in the Algoma field, which also includes last year’s Muskoka Stakes champion Spring Tempest, trained by Steve Owens, and 2016 Woodbine Oaks winner Neshama from the Catherine Day-Phillips outfit.
“She’s six years old now, she kind of lost touch with the field her last race [finishing eighth in the Victoriana Stakes on July 30] and we weren’t happy with it,” said Tiller. “I expect a better race from her.”
Tiller’s final stakes starter on the card is Di Guilio’s Guitar George, a five-year-old gelded son of Not Bourbon and Fleet Kris who has been cross entered in the Elgin (1-1/16 mile Tapeta) and the Halton (1-1/2 mile turf).
“We’re going to make a decision on Wednesday morning about that,” said Tiller. “He’s a hard-trying horse and both of those races look like they’re competitive races – just some nice horses in there. He’s in good order, very happy right now, and whichever race he runs in, he’ll try hard.”
Melmich will be seeking his third straight victory in the Elgin Stakes for trainer Kevin Attard and owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman. The six-year-old Wilco-Little Swoon gelding boasts back-to-back Grade 3 stakes wins in the Dominion Day and Seagram Cup heading into Canadian Millions Night.
Trained by Don MacRae and owned Michael Lay, Mike Loughry and D Mac Racing Stable, Strut N Stomp is the defending Halton Stakes champion in the evening’s first Canadian Millions event that also features millionaire Kaigun, a multiple graded stakes winning star conditioned by Woodbine’s top trainer Mark Casse for owners Quintessential Racing Florida LLC, Horse’n Around Racing Stable and Gary Barber.
The Muskoka and Simcoe Stakes will showcase some of the sport’s rising stars on Canadian Millions Night. Undefeated in two starts, Nandi Stakes winner Summer Sunday (Silent Name-Dancing Allstar) headlines the Muskoka for trainer Stuart Simon and owners Anne and William Scott. She is a half-sister to Algoma contender Trini Brewnette (by Milwaukee Brew), who is trained by Kevin Attard for owner Derek Chin. The Simcoe two-year-old colt division features the Analisa Delmas trainee Eskiminzin (Cold Harbor-Ms. Forum) and the John Ross-conditioned Aheadbyacentury (Midnight Lute-Sinful), both top three finishers in the recent Clarendon Stakes.
The following are the fields for Canadian Millions Night:
$125,000 OLG/OR Halton Stakes Presented by Tipperary Equestrian (Race 1)
Three-year-olds and up (1-1/2 miles turf)
1. Guitar George – Gary Boulanger – Robert Tiller
2. Eminent Force – Jesse Campbell – Catherine Day Phillips
3. Strut N Stomp – Patrick Husbands – Donald MacRae
4. Kaigun – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
5. Johnny Bear – Luis Contreras – Ashlee Brnjas
6. Ethical Funds – David Moran – George Billers
7. English Illusion – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Daniel Vella
$125,000 OLG/OR Elgin Stakes Presented by Bear Stables (Race 3)
Colts & geldings three years old and up (1-1/16 miles)
1. Melmich – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Kevin Attard
2. Star Contender – Rafael Hernandez – Steven Chircop
3. Bear At Last – Patrick Husbands – Tino Attard
4. Guitar George – Gary Boulanger – Robert Tiller
5. Ultimate Destiny – Jeffrey Ian Alderson – Alec Fehr
6. Eminent Force – Jesse Campbell – Catherina Day Phillips
7. Field of Courage – Luis Contreras – Mark Casse
$125,000 OLG/OR Algoma Stakes Presented by Adena Springs Canada (Race 4)
Fillies & mares three years old and up (1-1/16 miles)
1. Obeah Woman – Rafael Hernandez – Barbara Minshall
2. Spring Tempest – Jesse Campbell – Steve Owens
3. Crumlin Queen – David Moran – Michael Doyle
4. Trini Brewnette – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
5. Neshama – Patrick Husbands – Catherine Day Phillips
6. Sweater Weather – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Robert Tiller
7. Ellan Vannin – Jerome Lermyte – Tony Gattellaro
8. Sparkles’ Girl – Emma-Jayne Wilson – John Charalambous
9. Miss Sea – Alan Garcia – Michael Keogh
$200,000 OLG/OR Muskoka Stakes Presented by Signature Red (Race 5)
Two-year-old fillies (6-1/2 furlongs)
1. Summer Sunday – Jesse Campbell – Stuart Simon
2. Romia – Fanny Crausaz – Martin Hinckson
3. Hell N Wild – David Moran – Michael Doyle
4. Hatch Gate – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
5. Clickity Clack – Steven Bahen – Tony Gattellaro
6. Midnight Strider – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Darwin Banach
7. Sams Destiny – Jerome Lermyte – John Ross
8. Safe to Say – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
9. Loopety Loo – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
10. Dirty Girl – Luis Contreras – Michael De Paulo
11. Line of Vision – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Andrew Smith
$200,000 OLG/OR Simcoe Stakes Presented by Samuel, Son and Co. Limited (Race 6)
Two-year-olds colts & geldings (6-1/2 furlongs)
1. Eskiminzin – Patrick Husbands – Analisa Delmas
2. Aheadbyacentury – Jesse Campbell – John Ross
3. Cooler Mike – Luis Contreras – Nicholas Nosowenko
4. Crumlin Night – David Moran – Michael Doyle
5. Get My Gist – Jerome Lermyte – Conrad Belaire
6. Ellas My Love – Gary Boulanger – William Tharrenos
7. Stormfuhr – Sheena Ryan – Michael Mattine
8. Pachi the Grey – Simon Husbands – Martin Hinckson
$125,000 OLG/OR Kenora Stakes Presented by HBPA of Ontario (Race 7)
Three-year-olds and up (6 furlongs)
1. River Maid – Gary Boulanger – Robert Tiller
2. Field of Courage – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
3. Phil in the Blank – Jermaine Bridgmohan – Anthony Pottinger
4. Jacks Escarpment – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
5. Ben Lomond (S) – Omar Moreno – Laurie Silvera
6. Super Colerosa (S) – Jesse Campbell – Michael De Paulo
7. Pink Lloyd – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Robert Tiller