DEL MAR, Calif. – 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 according to Equibase.
“It set up nicely for me. They were going fast up front; I could feel it,” jockey Prat recalled the race.
“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.”
Prat won 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.
A happy Mark Glatt said post race, “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.”
Glatt added, “(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.”
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.
2020 Bing Crosby Replay
Trainer Lisa Bernard captures first stakes and first win at Del Mar
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.
“She broke well and then we got in a battle with the 3 (Reign of Fire). My filly was game, though, and she was willing to go with her. We put the other filly away and just went on with it,” jockey Pereira said.
“The meet has been going well for me. (With two wins today he now has a total of nine to rank fourth on the jockey list after nine days of racing.) I’ve got to keep it up!” he added.
Late last year Bernard took over the horses of now-retired trainer Walther Solis and trains out of San Luis Rey Training Center.
An elated Bernard said post race, “I feel fantastic; it’s very wonderful. (Governor Goteven) has been a really fun 2-year-old to deal with and I knew she was training really well. We won first time out with her at Santa Anita and I had a lot of faith in her. They just tell you. You just know sometimes. I think she’s got another stakes race in her future here at the end of the month ($100,000 Generous Portion, 6 furlongs, August 30).”
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 Springs, CA.
Finishing second was LeucadiaLand Stable’s race favorite Big Andy and third went to C T R Stables’ Reign of Fire.
Racing resumes Sunday with 11 races on the card including Race 3, the Graduation Stakes for Golden State Series Eligible California Bred Or California Sired Two-Year-Olds; and, Race 10, the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes G1 for fillies and mares. First post is 2:00 p.m. PT.
2020 CTBA Stakes Replay
Del Mar Entries for Sunday, August 2
Edited Press Release
Photos: Collusion Illusion. Credit: Benoit Photos
Governor Goteven. Credit: Benoit Photos