Fan favourite Pink Lloyd, winner of the 2017 Vigil Stakes during an incredible 11-race win streak that came to an end earlier this month, will look to rebound in this year’s edition of the Grade 3 six-furlong sprint on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Owned by Entourage Stable and trained by Robert Tiller, the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year went more than 14 months without losing a race but was defeated last time out in the Shepperton Stakes on July 8 when he was hauled down by Kingsport in the stretch and just headed by Jacks Escarpment at the wire after putting away challenger Boreal Spirit.
While Tiller is not one for excuses, he noted that Pink Lloyd had a temperature of 102 two days after the race.
“He spiked a little temperature a couple days after the race so he might of had a little bug in him,” said the Hall of Fame horseman. “We treated him for it and we gave him the week off and he’s bounced right back. I don’t see any reason why he won’t run this weekend right now.
“He came out of it and he’s very good right now, he’s happy and bouncy. His temperature went down right away.
“I don’t like using excuses but it’s very legit, that’s exactly what we came up with. They’re not machines, they’re animals.”
Despite his latest loss, the six-year-old millionaire son of Old Forester boasts an enviable career record reading 14-1-1 in 17 starts, including his last 11 wins in stakes competition.
“He’s won 11 out of his last 12. If he can make it 12 out of his last 13, wouldn’t that be something? Right now we’re confident that he’s a-ok and right now we’re geared to run and hopefully he’ll bounce back,” said Tiller, who also trains Vigil contender Circle of Friends for 3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd.
The Vigil field includes the aforementioned Josie Carroll trainee Jacks Escarpment, a familiar foe Pink Lloyd has faced eight times and one of only five horses to finish ahead of him in a race.
Yorkton enters the Vigil off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup turf stakes for trainer Stuart Simon and is looking for his first win since last year’s King Corrie Stakes.
Sweet Grass Creek and Sweet Romance, both winners of their 2018 starts at Woodbine, complete the field.
Here is a complete look at the field for Sunday’s $125,000 Vigil Stakes (Grade 3):
$125,000 Vigil Stakes (Grade 3)
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1. Yorkton – Jesse Campbell – Stuart Simon
2. Sweet Romance – Patrick Husbands – Malcolm Pierce
3. Circle of Friends – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Robert Tiller
4. Jacks Escarpment – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
5. Sweet Grass Creek – David Moran – Michael Keogh
6. Pink Lloyd – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Robert Tiller