TORONTO, June 19, 2020 – Hall of Fame horseman Robert Tiller celebrated a career milestone on Friday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack as he earned his 2,000th training win when Have a Souper Day crossed the wire on top in the seventh race.
With Rafael Hernandez aboard, the Tiller-owned three-year-old Have a Souper Day ($2.90) wired the field of six for his first career win, clocking seven furlongs in 1:24.62. The three-year-old Souper Speedy gelding prevailed by 1-3/4 lengths over first-time starter Beyond the Budget and Valuable Pillow.
Woodbine Entertainment made a special winner’s circle presentation to Tiller following social distancing protocols currently in place at the Toronto track.
“It’s a great honour,” said Tiller, 70, of the milestone moment. “It’s been a lot of years. The biggest thing I like about this is most of these starts were right here at home at Woodbine because I don’t winter-race usually. I’ve been training [since the 1970s] and 2,000 wins is a wonderful honour. I just wanted to get it out of the way and I’m very, very honoured and pleased.”
The multiple graded stakes winning trainer won his first race in 1972 courtesy of Royal Greek Ship and has since campaigned winners of more than $66.6 million in purse earnings. He has earned three Sovereign Awards as Canada’s Outstanding Trainer (2001, 2003 and 2004) and the highest achievement in the sport as a 2008 inductee in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Tiller still manages a 45-horse stable that includes Canada’s top sprinter Pink Lloyd, who will make his season’s debut in Thursday’s $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes (Grade 3) at Woodbine.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine without spectators on Saturday afternoon. First race post time is 1 p.m.