Hall of Fame horseman Robert Tiller celebrated a career milestone on Friday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack as he earned his 2,000th training win when Have a Souper Day crossed the wire on top in the seventh race.
With Rafael Hernandez aboard, the Tiller-owned three-year-old Have a Souper Day ($2.90) wired the field of six for his first career win, clocking seven furlongs in 1:24.62. The three-year-old Souper Speedy gelding prevailed by 1-3/4 lengths over first-time starter Beyond the Budget and Valuable Pillow.
Have a Souper Day, who went unsold in 2018 at the CANADIAN PREMIER YEARLING SALE of the CTHS Ontario, for $39,000, was bought privately by Tiller. The gelding has now won over $100,000.
Woodbine Entertainment made a special winner’s circle presentation to Tiller following social distancing protocols currently in place at the Toronto track.
“It’s a great honour,” said Tiller, 70, of the milestone moment. “It’s been a lot of years. The biggest thing I like about this is most of these starts were right here at home at Woodbine because I don’t winter-race usually. I’ve been training [since the 1970s] and 2,000 wins is a wonderful honour. I just wanted to get it out of the way and I’m very, very honoured and pleased.”
The multiple graded stakes-winning trainer won his first race in 1972 courtesy of Royal Greek Ship and has since campaigned winners of more than $66.6 million in purse earnings. He has earned three Sovereign Awards as Canada’s Outstanding Trainer (2001, 2003 and 2004) and the highest achievement in the sport as a 2008 inductee in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Tiller still manages a 45-horse stable that includes Canada’s top sprinter Pink Lloyd, who will make his season’s debut in Thursday’s $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes (Grade 3) at Woodbine.