May 30, 2023

Canadian legend Pink Lloyd rides off into sunset after Kennedy Road victory

Pink Lloyd completes his fairy tale ending winning the Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine and riding off into the retirement sunset. (Michael Burns Photo)

Seven-time Sovereign Award champion Pink Lloyd was going to retire as a legend after Saturday’s $156,780 Kennedy Road (G2), regardless of the result at Woodbine. But the nine-year-old sprinter added to his remarkable story by getting up to notch his 29th win from 38 starts, and signed off with a bankroll to the tune of $1,884,584 (more than C$2 million in his own currency).

Trained by Canadian Hall of Famer Robert Tiller for Entourage Stable, Pink Lloyd was coming off back-to-back victories. The son of Old Forester won the Sept. 25 Bold Venture (G3) for the second straight year and just landed the Nov. 7 Ontario Jockey Club S., both on the front end.

In the Kennedy Road, however, Pink Lloyd received his preferred scenario – a fast pace to run down. The 3.70-1 second choice got away in good order from post 5, and regular rider Rafael Hernandez had him nestled just a couple of lengths behind.

Clayton sped to the lead through fractions of :22.75 and :44.72 on the Tapeta, chased by Richiesinthehouse. Pink Lloyd had clear sailing to rally in the stretch, and the further they went, the more a fairy-tale finale came within his grasp.

As Richiesinthehouse inched ever closer to Clayton, Pink Lloyd was gaining relentlessly on the outside. The Woodbine icon forged past them both in the waning yards. A half-length on top at the wire, Pink Lloyd negotiated six furlongs in 1:08.84, not far off his own track record of 1:08.05 set in April 2018.

Richiesinthehouse headed Clayton for runner-up honors. Next came Tap It to Win; Red River Rebel; Souper Stonehenge, the non-threatening 2.10-1 favorite; Lenny K; and Smokin’ Jay. Malibu Secret was scratched.

Pink Lloyd, now a 26-time stakes winner, was earning his third Kennedy Road trophy. The chestnut gelding first captured this feature during his perfect 8-for-8 campaign in 2017, when he was honored as Canada’s Horse of the Year as well as champion older male and male sprinter. Pink Lloyd regained his Kennedy Road title in 2019, along with champion older male honors. He’s owned the role of Canadian champion male sprinter for the past four years in a row.

From 2017-19, Pink Lloyd’s regular rider was Eurico Rosa Da Silva. Hernandez took over the reins following Da Silva’s retirement. In a lovely tip of the cap on Saturday, Hernandez ended his postrace interview with Da Silva’s trademark phrase, “Good luck to everybody!”

Bred by John Carey and purchased for $28,443 by Entourage’s Frank Di Giulio Jr., Pink Lloyd has compiled a mark of 38-29-3-2 while racing exclusively on the Woodbine main track. Connections resisted the idea of trying turf, or a U.S. expedition, in favor of sticking with what suited Pink Lloyd best.

Now Pink Lloyd will enjoy his richly deserved retirement at LongRun near Erin, Ontario.