January 27, 2023

Pink Lloyd bids for historic Kennedy Road three-peat

Pink Lloyd winning the Vigil (G3) at Woodbine - Michael Burns Photo
Pink Lloyd winning the 2020 Vigil (G3) at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

Racing fans are in for a treat on Saturday when the sensational Pink Lloyd takes aim at winning Woodbine‘s $175,000 Kennedy Road (G2) for a third time.

No horse has ever won the 6-furlong sprint three times, but if any horse can complete the hat trick, it’s Pink Lloyd. The seemingly ageless 8-year-old gelding has won 26 of his 32 starts dating back to his August 2016 debut, including the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Kennedy Road.

Racing exclusively over the Woodbine synthetic course, Pink Lloyd has accumulated $1,577,199 in earnings plus half a dozen Sovereign Awards, stamping the speedy sprinter as one of Canada’s most accomplished runners in recent memory. With a perfect 4-for-4 record in 2020, including triumphs in the Jacques Cartier (G3), Bold Venture (G3), and Vigil (G3), Pink Lloyd is clearly the horse to beat on Saturday.

Yet victory might not be a certainty, because Pink Lloyd is slated to face some fierce competition in the Kennedy Road. Silent Poet hasn’t lost a sprint race since 2018 and enters off a gutsy victory in the 6-furlong Nearctic (G2) on turf. Assuming the Stronach Stables colorbearer handles the transition to Tapeta, he’ll be a serious front-running threat under Woodbine’s leading jockey Justin Stein.

Ride a Comet is another newcomer with a chance to factor. A late-charging winner of the 2018 Del Mar Derby (G2) racing 1 1/8 miles, Ride a Comet recently returned from a 25-month layoff to rally and win a 7-furlong allowance sprint over the Woodbine Tapeta. This sharp effort off an extended break suggests Ride a Comet still has a bright future for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.

Casse will also saddle Souper Stonehenge, who parlayed pace-tracking tactics into victory in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance dash at Woodbine last month. A 4-year-old son of champion sprinter Speightstown, the Live Oak Plantation has cracked the exacta in four of his five runs on Tapeta and still has upside with only two runs under his belt this season.

Eskiminzin, Dixie’s Gamble, and Roaring Forties have all been defeated by Pink Lloyd on multiple occasions, but they’ll gamely give the champ another go in the Kennedy Road, pushing the field to seven starters. Post time is 5:28 p.m. ET.