TORONTO, August 29, 2018 – Pink Lloyd needed every inch of the stretch run to collar stablemate Circle of Friends for a narrow neck score in Wednesday night’s $100,000 OLG Kenora Stakes, presented by the HBPA of Ontario, at Woodbine.
Trained by Robert Tiller for Entourage Stable, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year and millionaire son of Old Forester won last year’s six-furlong Kenora and was all out to reel in Circle of Friends.
With Patrick Husbands up, Circle of Friends swept to the lead with a backstretch brush to steal an easy half-mile in :47.15 while leading a compact field of four. Pink Lloyd, last as the field approached the turn, was urged into contention by leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva overtaking The Young Lord and 2016 Kenora champ Jacks Escarpment at the top of the lane.
With Circle of Friends moving comfortably under Husbands it appeared the time was gone and the song was over for Pink Lloyd, but the resurgent chestnut found another gear to secure his 16th win from 19 career starts while stopping the clock in 1:10.75.
Pink Lloyd enjoyed a year to remember in 2017 with a perfect record through eight starts as part of an 11-race win streak at Woodbine that spanned from April 15, 2017 with a score in the Jacques Cartier Stakes through June 3, 2018 when taking the Achievement Stakes.
One of the most successful CTHS Sale graduates of all time, Pink Lloyd’s all-stakes win streak included graded stakes wins in the Grade 3 Vigil and Grade 2 Kennedy Road en route to year-end honours as champion Sprinter, Older Horse and Horse of the Year.
Co-owner Frank Di Giulio Jr. looks back fondly on the moment he spotted Pink Lloyd as a yearling.
“He was by Old Forester, who we were fans of, and he was a nice-looking horse. Bob (Tiller) really liked his conformation and he was one of the ones on our list,” said Di Giulio Jr. who owns Pink Lloyd with longtime friends Ed Longo, John Lucato, John Peri and Victor Mele. “Luckily, he stopped at $30,000 and was in our price range and we ended up owning him.”
Di Giulio Jr. wasn’t sure Pink Lloyd was going to get the job done in the Wednesday night thriller.
“Honestly, no,” laughed Di Giulio Jr. “He made up a lot of ground in the last few jumps. Given the fractions, it’s tough to close off those fractions. It just shows how good he is.”
Pink Lloyd, bred in Ontario by John Carey, banked $63,000 in victory while improving his record to 16-1-1 from 19 career starts.
He paid $2.30 to win combining with Circle of Friends for a $7.20 (1-2) exactor.