On a lovely Thursday evening at Woodbine, PINK LLOYD returned to racing in 2020 as a 8-year-old and made history.

The leggy chestnut gelding, with new rider Rafael Hernandez on board, did what he had to do to win his 4th straight Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3) over three rivals making him the only horse to ever have won that may editions of the traditional early season sprint stakes race. It was his 23rd career win and 20th stakes victory at Woodbine but the first stakes win in front of an empty grandstand.

The Jacques Cartier for 2020 was scheduled for Saturday but in what is said to be a first, the graded stakes was carried over to Thursday night because it only had 4 entries. A fifth horse was entered Monday but Dixie’s Gamble scratched and that left the field at 4 anyway.

Pink Lloyd broke well, raced 3 wide off Circle of Friends (the fifth horse entered) and the moved to the lead in early stretch, fending off Malibu Secret who made a bid off the turn up the rail.

Pink Lloyd’s workmanlike score by 2 lengths stopped the teletimer in 1:09.61. He has earned over $1.8 million and was a $30,000 yearling purchase by Entourage Stable and Robert Tiller. John Carey bred the son of Old Forester – Gladiator Queen by Great Gladiator.

“He broke well, he did his thing,” said Hernandez. “He’s older, he knows how to win. He can come from anywhere, he just does his thing. He showed up today. He’s one of the best, he does his job. He don’t give up, never.”

Hall of Famer Robert Tiller’s beloved trainee now counts the Jacques Cartier grand slam among his impressive list of accomplishments.

“This is one of the greatest sprinters that’s ever raced in Canada and I think his record speaks for itself,” said Tiller of the six-time Sovereign Award winner, who was named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2017. “He really has a lot of heart, a lot of desire. He wants to do it, he loves winning and I don’t know if there will ever be another one like him… not for me, that’s for sure.

“A lot of hard work at the barn, there’s a lot of details that go along with him. But when you’re standing here like this, it all works out. He’s such a champion, such a sweetheart and I love him dearly.”

Sent postward as the overwhelming 1-5 favourite, Pink Lloyd paid just $2.50 for a $2 win ticket. There was no place or show wagering.

Malibu Secret looks like a very nice prospect for Bruno Schickedanz and trainer Martin Drexler after this good effort in his season debut. He was a $40,000 claiming last fall and has been improving.