Those who backed him into 2-5 would have had a few nervous moments late, but Collusion Illusion kicked it in for the final furlong and rolled past pacesetting Ragtime Blues en route to an ultimately convincing victory in the GIII Laz Barrera S. at Santa Anita.
Ragtime Blues won the break and dictated terms early, while Collusion Illusion, last of the five in the opening exchanges, tugged Flavien Prat into a share of second after a quarter in :21.90. The front-runner pinched a break without really being asked by Mike Smith, and entering the final two furlongs, the race appeared his to win or lose, as Collusion Illusion looked to be scuffling back on the fence. Ragtime Blues was still clear and hand-ridden into the final eighth of a mile, but the chalk was equal to the task, taking over a sixteenth out before skipping clear.
A debut winner at Del Mar last July, Collusion Illusion belied odds of 7-1 to land the GII Best Pal S. the following month before pulling up and out of the GI American Pharoah S. in September. In his lone appearance this season, the bay was the fast-finishing winner of a May 17 allowance, defeating next-out stakes winner Tiger Dad (Smiling Tiger) by three good-looking lengths.
Collusion Illusion is the lone produce for his dam, who passed away in 2018, and who was a half-sister to GSW & GISP Bahamian Squall (Gone West), GSW/GISP Apriority (Grand Slam) and SW Squall City (Carson City), the dam of SW & GSP Lady Chace (Tiznow), SW Vindy City (Vindication) and GISP Big Tiz (Tiznow). Collusion Illusion is one of his sire’s 24 black-type winners and nine graded winners.
Saturday, Santa Anita
LAZARO BARRERA S.-GIII, $100,000, Santa Anita, 6-20, 3yo, 6 1/2f, 1:16.03, ft.
1–COLLUSION ILLUSION, 124, c, 3, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Natalie Grace, by First Dude
2nd Dam: Midway Squall, by Storm Bird
3rd Dam: Oh So Precious, by Best Turn
($50,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $300,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-Dan J.
Agnew, Rodney E. Orr, Jerry Schneider & John V. Xitco;
B-Donald R. Dizney, LLC (FL); T-Mark Glatt; J-Flavien Prat.
$60,000. Lifetime Record: 5-4-0-0, $248,751.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ragtime Blues, 122, c, 3, Union Rags–Home of the Blues, by
Street Cry (Ire). ($500,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC,
Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC,
Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding & Golconda Stables;
B-Mike Pietrangelo (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $20,000.
3–Howbeit, 120, c, 3, Secret Circle–Emerlaude, by El Corredor.
($15,000 Ylg ’18 FTKOCT; $32,000 RNA 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-C T
R Stables LLC (Calvert); B-Animal Science Dept / U of K (KY);
T-Doug F. O’Neill. $12,000.
Margins: 3 1/4, 3 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 0.40, 2.10, 43.30.
Also Ran: Phantom Boss, Alcools. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.