TORONTO, July 23, 2020 – The incomparable Pink Lloyd deployed his usual tactics, powering past the competition in the stretch to add more hardware to his collection as he won the 45th edition of the $100,000 Shepperton Stakes on Thursday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Winning his third Shepperton title, Pink Lloyd ties Paso Doble with the most wins in the main track stakes event, which has been run at a distance of 6-1/2 furlongs for all but two editions.
The Robert Tiller trainee also won this race in 2017 and 2019, and finished third in 2018. Paso Doble took the 2011, 2013 and 2014 events.
Carrying a field height weight of 128 pounds, Canada’s reigning three-time Champion Male Sprinter stalked the leaders along the rail before jockey Rafael Hernandez maneuvered him outside in the stretch and took off.
Stopping the clocked in 1:16.44 nearly two lengths in front, Pink Lloyd paid $2.60 to win as the overwhelming 1-9 favourite in the six-horse field. There was no place or show wagering.
Early trailer Silent Jimmie chased the champion home and got up for second just ahead of the front-runners, Dun Drum and Not So Quiet, who had set fractions of :23.25 and :45.88. Magical Man and Souper Success completed the order of finish.
“He’s got the heart and desire to be probably the best sprinter in Canada the last 50 years,” said Tiller, who has won the Shepperton a record six times for a trainer. “He is amazing. He was in trouble all the way. We got the box trip with the one-hole, and it worked out well. Rafii waited and waited.”
“We’re very proud of him and I love him dearly,” said the Hall of Fame horseman.
Bred by John Carey and owned by Entourage Stable, the eight-year-old Ontario-bred son of Old Forester now boasts 24 career wins from 29 starts and is approaching the $2 million mark in career earnings.
A 21-time stakes winner, Pink Lloyd previously put together an 11-race win streak in stakes action, beginning at the start of his 2017 Horse of the Year campaign. Pink Lloyd’s current streak is now at eight after going six-for-six in 2019 and winning a record fourth Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes in his season’s debut on June 25.
“Last time, he gave me a little hard time – he had to work hard to get there – but after the race, I told Bob, ‘Now he’s ready 100 per cent,’” said Hernandez. “He showed up today. He just broke out of the gate, sat behind good and he just did the best thing he knows how to do… he just switched the lead in the stretch and ‘let’s go.’
“He knows how to do it, he knows how to win.”
And so does Hernandez, who is the leading rider at the 2020 Woodbine meet and won half of Thursday’s eight races.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues, without spectators, on Friday at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time for the first of eight races is set for 1 p.m.