PINK! PINK! PINK!
104 Beyer Figure for Pink Lloyd’s 8th straight stake win
Under the lights on a dark, grey Saturday later afternoon, the bright chestnut gelding made things sunny for anyone who was at Woodbine racetrack yesterday.
PINK LLOYD, a remarkable story of a horse who did not get to the races until his 4-year-old season, completed a perfect year for Entourage Stable of Frank DiGiulio Jr, his family and friends, trainer Robert Tiller and jockey Eurico da Silva.
The 5-year -old son of Old Forester – Gladiator Queen by Great Gladiator saved his best run for last.
Starting as the overwhelming favourite in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes but meeting a formidable rival in Ikerrin Road, Pink Lloyd was very eager early in the race, dueling early in the 6 furlong dash which was a surprise to many.
It was not the place I wanted to be, I’ll be honest with you,” admitted Da Silva of his early position up front between horses. “I thought I was going to be a little more behind the pace, but he brought me there. He was really, really easy. But there’s always horses around him, he’s an aggressive horse. ”
When Ikierrin Road loomed up to him in mid-stretch, it almost looked as if that good runner was going to get past.
And then Pink Lloyd rebroke. It was over as he darted away under a jubilant Da Silva. The time of 1:08.46 was good for a hefty 104 Beyer Figure.
Later, Da Silva became emotional as he talked about the win.
“In the turn, I could feel he had a lot of horse,” he continued. “When we turned for home, another horse just came out a little bit and gave him a little touch and he said, ‘It’s time for me to go,’ and he just went on his own. He’s a great horse and it’s like a dream to ride a horse like this. I want to thank Bobby. We are here every day working so hard to ride a great horse like him. Thank you everybody, good luck to everybody.”
Pink Lloyd’s 2017 tour has also included the Jacques Cartier, New Providence, Achievement, Vigil (Grade 3), Shepperton, Kenora and Overskate. Da Silva, who has been aboard Pink Lloyd for all of those wins, now boasts 33 stakes victories at the Woodbine meet. He is closing in the long-standing record for most stakes win at Woodbine in a single season, but will need to win half of the remaining six stakes to reach the 36-win mark co-held by Avelino Gomez (1966) and Todd Kabel (2004).
Meanwhile, Pink Lloyd etched his name in the history books. The Tiller trainee is believed to be the first Thoroughbred horse to win eight stakes in a row at Woodbine.
“He just won eight stakes in a row,” said Tiller. “What do you do for an encore here?”
“He’s an icon,” gushed the Hall of Fame horseman. “He’s just a really good horse. He just likes to run by horses. I was afraid of Vito’s horse today and he had a real good shot at him and he just shook him off and away he went. We’re so proud of this animal. We’re so blessed to have him and I hope we can be around next year and have a lot more fun with him. This is the biggest thrill of my training career.”
Pink Lloyd, who was a runner-up in last year’s Kennedy Road to the Barbara Minshall-trained 2015 Sovereign Award Champion Sprinter Stacked Deck, now boasts 11 career wins from 13 starts with earnings soaring past $650,000. He was a $30,000 yearling purchase from John Carey.
The Horse of the Year Title could certainly belong to Pink Lloyd, even if rival Ami’s Mesa just about won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Distaff. The latter won all 4 of her races at Woodbine but certainly did not have the speed of Pink Lloyd.
Winning 8 straight stakes race is truly an amazing accomplishment.
MCKNIGHT WINS 3
The Norm McKnight stable had another triple at Woodbine, taking 3 of the 10 races to get within 4 (four) of trainer MARK CASSE.
Casse has been leading trainer at Woodbine 12 times. McKnight, while having only half the starters of the Casse conglomerate, has done all this winning with claiming horses and it has been a remarkable year for the trainer, who is assisted by his son Brad.
David Bell and partner Val Topp won 2 races on the card with LEONARD’S BAY and MARTEN LAKE, the latter who was claimed.
EURICO DA SILVA speaks at Jockey Club of Canada meeting
World Champion Jockey talks Japan, Woodbine stewards and more
The Jockey Club of Canada meeting at Woodbine Saturday morning had two guest speakers for the members. Eurico da Silva, Canada’s leading jockey and a very popular Canadian athlete and Fasig Tipton’s CEO Boyd Browning were very entertaining.
Da Silva, recently inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame, talked about his trip to Japan to ride in the World Jockey Championships, which he won.
“Canadian jockeys can ride anywhere. we have about 5 riders here that can compete anywhere, We are not behind anybody.”
While discussing the tough rules for racing in Hong King and Japan, Da Silva also talked about how difficult he has found the 2017 season as far as the racing stewards from Alcohol and Gaming Commission at Woodbine.
Recently, there are Standardbred stewards judging Thoroughbred (or Quarter Horse races) and that has led to much confusion for many in the industry this year.
“I have ridden here 14 years and never had a problem with the stewards until this year.
We need to have stronger stewards. This game is about communication and I think we have lost that. We can’t have Standardbred stewards (judging TB races). The rules are not extended, riders start taking shots and claiming foul all the time.”
I have grown up with horses and racing my entire life. But I know if I go to a standardbred race, I don’t know what is going on.”
Da Silva is passionate too about Tai Kwon Do (he is a black belt) and reading. He has an exact routine each race day which included meditation and a warm up.
BOYD BROWING talked about Fasig-Tipton, horse sales and the industry. The best advice he gave was to CTHS president Glenn Sikura, who asked about what he thought of the Woodbine CTHS sale’s decline in recent years.
“it’s blocking and tackling 101,’ said Browning. You need to get 6, 7 or 8 of you (owners, breeders of yearlings) to give 1 or 2 more horses to the sale. Maybe ones that they are on the fence about.
Then you get those same people or other members to bring 1 or 2 new faces, prospective buyers to the sale. You need to do both.
Just seeing a couple of news faces at the same can be positive for the sale.
Everyone needs to take an initiative.”
Indeed, the CTHS Ontario sale has been lacking in power in recent years while dozens of ONtario bred yearlings go to Keeneland to be sold – many who sell for just $20-25,000.
Jeff Begg, chair he Jockey Club of Canada introduced new full-time manager Camille Casse (a daughter of trainer Mark Casse) and said the Soverewign awards would be held at Woodbine next spring on either April 12 or 19.
HBPA HOSTS GATHERING FOR JAMIE MARTIN
A gathering of horse owners and trainers and jockeys and more had a celebration for Jamie Martin, who will be leaving Woodbine and heading to Grande River.
Jamie has been an integral part of the Woodbine racing, Standardbred and Thoroughbred for over a decade and he is also a true horse racing fan and passionate racing person.
PATRICK BROWN AND HIS CONSERVATIVES
Encouraging news from the PC camp according to an Ontario Racing Tweet:
From Patrick Brown’s just-released election platform:
“The PC’s will get horse racing back on track by creating a horse racing scratch ticket…and return every dollar made from it to local racetracks.