Horse racing industry experts have weighed in on Canadian Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd’s impressive achievements as he looks to keep his winning momentum rolling this weekend at Woodbine.
Owned by Entourage Stable and campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Robert Tiller, the six-year-old sprint champion will pursue his 11th straight victory and millionaire status in the $125,000 Achievement Stakes on Sunday, June 3.
Roger Attfield, Hall of Fame Trainer:
“It’s special to have a horse that has the capability and also the desire to do it. The trainer has to be able to keep their horse healthy and well to keep showing up also. It’s very special to have a horse like that in your charge because they don’t come along that often. They’re special horses and it’s something that people should want to go out and see because you’re not going to see it everyday. He’s just a special horse.”
“It’s amazing. Even when you have the product that can do it, you have to keep it healthy and well through every race. To do that you have to know your horse. It all comes down to detail. This whole game comes down to detail and I can’t stress that enough to people who work for me. It’s detail, detail, detail and every horse is a different detail. To achieve what he’s been achieving, he’s been managed very well.”
“Going through Triple Crowns and knowing you have a horse that’s capable of doing it, but you have to get him there. It’s the silliest little things like a wheelbarrow left in the shedrow or something that might spook the horse and make him kick and be out of training for two or three days and it’s all gone. It’s exciting to see a horse like Pink Lloyd doing what he’s doing.”
Jim Bannon, Woodbine Host/Commentator and Editor of the Woodbine Journal:
“I have fond early memories of Pink Lloyd. He first became noticeable on October 2, 2015 when he was a three-year-old. He worked five furlongs that morning in 1:00.1. Watching for him every morning after that proved fruitless as he never reappeared the balance of that year. Then in July of 2016, he suddenly popped up with a pair of spirited five furlong works just like he had produced in October of the previous year. He was now clearly building momentum. When he debuted in late August as a four-year-old, Tiller had him ready to go and Contreras delivered him in front and clear at the end in 1:09. That was spectacular given the time he had missed and the interruptions in his training sessions. He was third choice that day. He was on his way.”
“Pink Lloyd has many strengths. He has had to endure some fretful days because of his physical challenges where his career seemed derailed but his genuine solvency has allowed Tiller to continue on with him to the top. Also, Pink Lloyd’s reliability stands out.”
Jeff Bratt, Woodbine Host/Commentator:
“Pink Lloyd is the King of Woodbine. He is a fan favourite, and not just those based in Toronto. He has fans from around the world. I love the presence he has about him. As soon as the rider gets aboard him in the paddock he starts to get a bounce to his step, knowing that show time is right around the corner. He has had a target on his back since the start of his winning streak and been able to overcome trouble in a series of races. Pink Lloyd’s resiliency is remarkable.”
Robert Geller, Woodbine Track Announcer:
“More than the way the race is run, the level of opponent or the time between starts, there is a point in each of his wins where Pink Lloyd takes ownership and the rest is history. What a thrill to call a home-made champion.”
Darryl Kaplan, President of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame:
“The greatest athletes do things, and accomplish feats, that break new ground and push us to see that the seemingly impossible is possible. Every time Pink Lloyd goes onto the track, he is doing exactly that. He is taking all of us on a pretty incredible ride.”
Jim Lawson, President & CEO of Woodbine Entertainment:
“What Pink Lloyd has accomplished by winning 10 stakes races in a row is nothing short of spectacular. He’s earned his reputation as a fan favourite and to see the grandstand react with such emotion after each victory brings goosebumps. Robert Tiller and his team have done a tremendous job with Pink Lloyd, a Canadian-bred hero racing for Canadian owners, and I invite everyone to join us at Woodbine on Sunday to cheer on our Horse of the Year.”
Dawn Lupul, Woodbine Host/Commentator:
“What a ride! It’s fun to watch this handsome boy from race to race as he continues to dominate, looking like he is enjoying it every step of the way! He comes into the paddock like he owns the place, and his legion of fans show up every race to cheer him on. He truly is a special horse, and trainer Bob Tiller and his crew have done an amazing job with him.”
Mark Casse, Hall of Fame Trainer:
“I’ve always said that good horses can win when everything goes right, but it takes a great horse to win when things go wrong. When you run and win 10 consecutive races, you know there have been times when things didn’t go right, but he was still able to achieve and he’s doing it at the highest level.”
“It gets tougher actually (training a horse on a win streak). When you run a horse like Pink Lloyd, or one like Tepin, it’s definitely nerve wracking. Bob loves his horses and loves the game, but mostly you just don’t want to let your horse down.”
Jason Portuondo, Woodbine Host/Commentator:
“Any athlete will tell you winning 10 straight is no easy feat, and it takes a total team effort for this to happen. Pink Lloyd’s success is a credit to his trainer, jockeys, exercise rider, groom, hot walker, blacksmith and veterinarian. All of these people have played key roles in this amazing run, and the best part of it all is the owners have kept it local. Hopefully there’s another big ‘Achievement’ right around the corner.”
Glenn Sikura, Chief Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada and Owner of Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms:
“Frost King is a horse that I remember from when I was a little bit younger and the fact that they’re both geldings is one similarity as horses like that can go on and run as five, six and seven-year-olds. Frost King was a lovely horse that a lot of people followed and I think Pink Lloyd has the same opportunity to really bring a lot of fans out and unite people within the horse business.”
“In his last race, we bred the horse (Lokinforpursemonee) that ran second to Pink Lloyd. Before the race I said, ‘If there’s any chance, it would be awesome if we could be the one to break the winning streak’ and I corrected myself within 10 seconds. I’m not sure I want that to happen because the only way any local horse beats him currently is if Pink Lloyd gets a bad trip and you don’t want to see that happen.”
“I hope it carries on for a long time and I hope there’s a groundswell beyond the nucleus of horse lovers. I really hope he can reach another audience.”
FACT SHEET: PINK LLOYD
Owner: Entourage Stable // Trainer: Robert Tiller // Jockey: Eurico Rosa Da Silva
Assistant Trainer: Tom Lottridge // Groom: Michelle Gibson // Exercise Rider: Rafael Sanchez
Breeder: John Carey // Foaled: February 23, 2012 // Sire-Dam: Old Forester-Gladiator Queen
Career Summary: 15 starts, 13 wins, 1 second, 1 fifth // Career Earnings: $980,080
A name with star power: The Entourage Stable is comprised of a group of five friends including longtime racehorse owner Frank Di Giulio Jr. Co-owner Ed Longo is credited for Pink Lloyd’s name, which is inspired by the classic rock band Pink Floyd and the character Lloyd from the HBO television series Entourage.
Multiple-award winner: Pink Lloyd was named Canada’s 2017 Horse of the Year at the Sovereign Awards as well as Champion Older Male and Champion Male Sprinter.
Track record holder: Pink Lloyd set a Woodbine track record of 1:08.05 over six furlongs on the Tapeta in his 2018 season’s debut winning the Jacques Cartier Stakes on April 21 with jockey Rafael Hernandez subbing in for Da Silva. The former record of 1:08.16 was set by Essence Hit Man on April 17, 2011.
10 consecutive stakes wins: Pink Lloyd had a perfect 2017 campaign winning the Jacques Cartier, New Providence, Achievement, Grade 3 Vigil, Shepperton, Kenora, Overskate and Grade 2 Kennedy Road. This year, he has successfully defended his titles in the Jacques Cartier and New Providence.
13 career wins: In addition to his current win streak, Pink Lloyd started his racing career in 2016 with three straight wins in a maiden and allowance races at Woodbine in rein to jockey Luis Contreras.
Only two career losses: Pink Lloyd finished fifth in the Overskate Stakes at the end of his debut season in 2016, three lengths behind winner Touch of Disney, and Stacked Deck defeated him by one length next time out in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes.
Fan favourite: Pink Lloyd has been the odds-on favourite in his last nine of 10 races. He was the 4-1 second choice to previous Kennedy Road winner Stacked Deck starting in the 2017 Jacques Cartier.
Richest win: Pink Lloyd earned his richest win at the end of last season in the $175,000 Kennedy Road (Grade 2) on November 25.
Biggest winning margin: Pink Lloyd’s biggest winning margin was 6-1/4 lengths in this year’s New Providence Stakes on May 13. He has won his last 10 races by a combined 27-3/4 lengths.
Smallest winning margin: Pink Lloyd’s smallest winning margin was three-quarters of a length in both the 2017 Jacques Cartier (ahead of Commute) and the Kenora Stakes (over Jacks Escarpment).
Average field size: Pink Lloyd has faced fields averaging 6.8 in size during his win streak.