Pink Lloyd streaks to seventh straight stakes victory

Entourage Stable’s rock star Pink Lloyd played another winning tune in Sunday’s $125,000 Overskate Stakes, blasting by his rivals down the stretch for his seventh straight stakes victory of the Woodbine meet.

Robert Tiller trains the Horse of the Year candidate, who remains undefeated in 2017.

“I’m not speechless,” said Tiller after the victory. “I’m going to say it right now: I can’t remember the last horse that’s won seven stakes in a row, the 126 pounds with the Beyer’s (Speed Figures) he’s had. If he’s not the greatest sprinter in Canada and he’s not the best horse in Canada, I give up. What are we supposed to do for an encore here?”

Despite carrying 126 pounds, seven more than his nearest rival in the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-olds and up, Pink Lloyd was a dominant three and a half length winner with Jacks Escarpment a runner-up in their second straight match up. Supplemental entry Roxy’s Vision rounded out the top three.

Pink Lloyd broke from the outside post nine and tucked back to seventh before coming through between horses in the final turn and taking off down the stretch. He powered by pacesetter Singandcryindubai (:22.96, :44.98 and 1:09.32) and won the seven furlong sprint in 1:21.73.

“He was a little excited inside the gate,” said Da Silva. “He broke a half-length behind. What I did was a blessing because I had the speed to run at. There were a lot of horses that wanted to go faster than my horse. When I stuck in behind the horses, he just relaxed and I was able to save a little bit of ground in the turn and the gap was there for me at the right time. And when I asked him, he just took off from there. He’s just a phenomenal horse.”

As Da Silva aims for the meet stakes record of 36 wins, he can credit Pink Lloyd for his part in putting him within reach. He has partnered with the Tiller trainee for seven of his 31 victories on the year.

Pink Lloyd’s 2017 set list has included the Jacques Cartier, New Providence, Achievement, Grade 3 Vigil, Shepperton, Kenora Stakes and today’s Overstake Stakes.

“I was on top of him when I came back and I was petting him,” said Da Silva of his affection for Pink Lloyd. “I just want to have that good memory about this horse. This horse is very special.”

“We’re blessed, blessed, blessed and I thank the good Lord that we have this horse,” agreed Tiller. “And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. At this stage in my career, I’m very touched by this horse.”

Pink Lloyd paid $3.30 to win as the heavy 3-5 favourite, rebounding from a foot injury and 10 days off from training after his resilient Kenora Stakes score last time out.

“I knew he was very, very sharp today,” said Tiller. “I think we were lucky to draw the outside post because he got a little sharp in the gate and kind of broke outward. He’s always been very capable of running by horses or running on the lead, so come on and get him boys! I dare you to take him on!”

Bred in Ontario by John Carey, the five-year-old Old Forester-Gladiator Queen gelding is now 10-for-12 lifetime with earnings soaring over a half-million dollars. Pink Lloyd has another opportunity this year to add to his impressive resume in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes, which is scheduled for November 25 at Woodbine.


Clickity Clack upsets in Princess Elizabeth

Clickity Clack pulled off a 10-1 upset in the 72nd running of the $225,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes defeating favourite Avie’s Mineshaft in a photo finish on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Tony Gattellaro trains and co-owns the promising two-year-old Canadian-foaled filly, who is now two-for-four to start her career.

Jockey Rafael Hernandez worked out a tracking trip aboard Clickity Clack behind race leader Hell N Wild, who was challenged outside by Gizmo’s Destiny and It’snicetobenice through fractions of :25.64, :50.37 and 1:14.76. Down the stretch, Avie’s Mineshaft rallied out wide from the back of the pack while Clickity Clack closed inside along the rail and those two took off in a battle to the wire. They raced by the mile mark in 1:39.73 and hit the line together. The finish was even too close to call for Hernandez.

“I had to wait. We went head to head and one jump he (Luis Contreras aboard Avie’s Mineshaft) was in front, the next jump I was in front,” said Hernandez. “I had to wait for the win photo.”

Racing inside proved to be key for Clickity Clack, who ultimately prevailed by a head bob in 1:46.07 over 1-1/16 miles on the Woodbine main.

“I tried once to get out, but I had horses outside and I decided to just wait for the hole to open up and that’s what happened,” said Hernandez of his winning trip. “The hole opened inside, went through, and she was still running.

“Before I got on the horse in the paddock, Tony told me, ‘You know what, Raffy? She’s different today. She’s on the top and she’s going to show you a lot today,’ and that’s what she did.'”

“The ironic thing is the first race of her life, Raffy beat us in a head bob (aboard Safe to Say on August 7), so it was her turn to get the head down today,” said Gattellaro. “All power to him, he’s a great rider having a great year and we couldn’t have done it without him.”

Bred in Ontario by Woodbine outrider Robert Love and his wife Michelle, the Silent Name-Boama filly was a $20,000 yearling purchase from last year’s Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Yearling Sale by Gattellaro and longtime friends T. Baker, P. Statchuk, J. Gallagher, D. Carlson & A. Carlson.

“She’s a ton of fun,” Gattellaro said of the filly, who was one of his top picks from the sale. “This is what horse racing is all about.

“If I was to pick one word that defines her, it would be ‘smooth.’ She’s just been classy from the start. Right from the first day we put the saddle on her here, I turned to one of my grooms and said, ‘We have a special horse here’ and here we are. I’m thrilled. It’s the win of my life. My second stakes win and the biggest one,” said Gattellaro, who also campaigned filly Ellan Vannin to a late-season stakes victory in last year’s Ontario Lassie for his initial stakes win.

Clickity Clack paid $22.60, $5.70 and $3.50. She combined with Avie’s Mineshaft ($2.40, $2.10) for a 2-1 exacta worth $55.30. A $1 trifecta of 2-1-6 (Safe to Say, $3.20) paid $90.15 and a $1 superfecta of 2-1-6-5 (Gizmo’s Destiny) returned $324.40. Hell N Wild and It’snicetobenice completed the order of finish. Mo Big Cat was scratched.