Collusion Illusion by a Nose in Del Mar's Grade I Bing Crosby
Collusion Illusion © Benoit Photo
Rider Flavien Prat took advantage of a serious speed battle up front, dove for the rail in the stretch and pulled off a nose victory with the 3-year-old Collusion Illusion in Saturday’s 75th running of the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar.
The colt by Twirling Candy just nosed out Calumet Farm’s Lexitonian and rider Drayden Van Dyke who lagged far behind early, looped the field on the turn for home and fired in the lane to just miss in the six-furlong headliner. Final time for the dash was 1:10.41 after early splits of :21.58 and :44.73.
Prat was winning his sixth stakes of the nine-day old meet and his second victory of the day to assume command in the local jockeys’ race with 16 firsts. For Collusion Illusion’s trainer, Mark Glatt, it was his first Grade I stakes victory.
Collusion Illusion is owned by a quartet of Washington State partners -- Dan Agnew, Jerry Schneider, John Xitco and Dr. Rodney Orr.
Running third in the $250,000 Crosby was Law Abidin Citizen, who races for the same group that owns Collusion Illusion and also is trained by Glatt.
As the favorite, the Florida-bred winner paid $5.80, $3.60 and $2.80. He earned a check for $150,000 and moved his bankroll up to $398,751. He now has won five of his six lifetime starts.
The Crosby was a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race meaning Collusion Illusion has won a guaranteed starting spot – with all fees paid – to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which will be held at Keeneland in Lexington, KY, on Saturday, November 7.
Earlier on the card, the 2-year-old Governor Goteven scampered to a three and one-half length victory in the $100,000 CTBA Stakes for California-bred juvenile fillies.
She was ridden by Tiago Pereira and trained by Lisa Bernard, who was winning her first stakes race, as well as first race at Del Mar. Late last year the conditioner took over the horses of now-retired trainer Walther Solis and trains out of San Luis Rey Training Center.
The homebred daughter of Governor Charlie covered five and one half furlongs in 1:05.55 and earned a first prize of $57,000 to increase her earnings to $87,000 for her two wins in two starts. She paid $8.80, $3.00 and $2.20 across the board. Final time for the five and one-half furlong test was 1:05.55.
The winner is owned by her breeder – Templeton Horses – which is the nom du course of Linda Templeton of Warner Srpings, CA.
Finishing second was LeucadiaLand Stable’s race favorite Big Andy and third went to C T R Stables Reign of Fire.
Prior to that race, Thousand Words beat favored Honor A.P. in the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes, thus earning himself a starting spot in the Kentucky Derby if his connection choose to go.
Racing at Del Mar returns tomorrow with a first post of 2 p.m.
FLAVIEN PRAT (Collusion Illusion, winner) – “It set up nicely for me. They were going fast up front; I could feel it. My horse was handling the dirt well today, too. Better than he usually does. When we turned for home I had horses in front of me and I was aware the inside was playing fast today so I went down there. I got through and at the eight pole I thought I was going to be an easy winner. Then I saw that horse on the outside (Lexitonian) coming and I wasn’t so sure. But we got there.”
MARK GLATT (Collusion Illusion, winner) – “We thought, looking on paper, they were going to go pretty fast. I didn’t think my other horse (Law Abidin Citizen, 3rd) would be that close (early) but he hung in there very tough. He’s a bit of an overachiever and I’m almost as proud of him as I am of Collusion Illusion. (Collusion Illusion) doesn’t like dirt in his face and the way it set up he was going to have to go extremely wide to stay away from it. But the past couple days the rail has been getting better as a place to be and when he darted to the rail I knew he was going to be coming. I got a little worried if he was going to find a place to go, but he was able to and came through in the end.”
FRACTIONS: :21.58 :44.73 :57.46 1:10.41
The stakes win was the sixth of the meet for rider Prat and his fifth in the Bing Crosby. He now has 50 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the second of the meet for trainer Glatt and his first in the Bing Crosby. It was also his first Grade I victory. He now has 10 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The winning owners – all from Washington State – are Dan Agnew, Jerry Schneider, John Xitco and Dr. Rodney Orr.