TORONTO, April 15 – Pink Lloyd notched the first stakes win of his career with a determined effort in Saturday’s $113,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes, at Woodbine.
The lightly raced Old Forester chestnut, trained by Robert Tiller for Entourage Stable, tracked the early speed of Conquest Tsunami through splits of :22.32 and :44.57 in the six furlong Tapeta sprint before taking an outside run late in the turn to edge clear for a 3/4-length score over a rail rallying Commute. Pink Lloyd covered six furlongs in 1:08.62.
Da Silva, who won a second straight Sovereign Award (fourth overall) as Canada’s Outstanding Jockey on Thursday night, was pleased to get the 2017 meet off to a good start winning three races on the card.
"The horse was ready for me today. When we turned for home, I asked him, and he just kicked from there," said da Silva. "I was able to take him a little bit back and put him in second position. He was just waiting for me to turn him loose. It was wonderful."
The Jacques Cartier was just the sixth career start for the five-year-old Pink Lloyd. He made a winning debut in August at Woodbine, the start of a three-race win streak, before landing fifth in the Overskate and second in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes.
"He made us wait. He’s a very good horse and it was tough to get to this race. He’s a detail horse and tough to get around the racetrack. The exercise rider does a wonderful job with him," said Tiller. "Touch wood this is his first really sound year. I believe he’s a very good horse. I really do. He’s convinced me today."
Pink Lloyd, bred in Ontario by John Carey, banked $72,000 in victory while improving his record to 4-1-0 from six starts.
He paid $10.60, $5.70 and $3.20, combining with Commute ($6.50, $3.40) for a $52 (3-1) exactor. A 3-1-2 trifecta (Copperplate, $6.70 to show) was worth $552.10, while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-2-6 (Stacked Deck)] came back $1190.15.
The opening day card was highlighted by three wins each from jockeys da Silva, Rafael Hernandez and Jesse Campbell. The veteran da Silva, who led all riders with 202 wins a year ago, also scored with Skippy Is Back and Gertie T.
Hernandez, who won the third with Blutarsky and the sixth with Silver Princess, started the day with a smart score in the first race of the meet aboard Princess Niigon for trainer Julia Carey and owner Joey Gee Thoroughbreds. Jesse Campbell’s hat trick included wins from Eminent Force, Winstanley and Majestic Slew.
Mike DePaulo was the only trainer with multiple wins on the card (Eminent Force, Majestic Slew) as he capped off a memorable week that saw Caren take home both Champion Three-Year-Old Filly and Horse of the Year honours at the Sovereign Awards.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at Woodbine with a 10-race card highlighted by the featured Star Shoot Stakes. First post time is 1PM.