Tue, 08/13/2019 - 15:21

In just the second start of his career, Collusion Illusion raced to a $17.40 upset over five rivals in the $200,351 Best Pal Stakes (G2) Aug. 10 at Del Mar.


Finishing second in the six-furlong headliner was an unlucky Wrecking Crew, who broke badly and spotted his rivals several lengths to start, then came back to close belatedly behind the winner but missed by 1 1/4 lengths.


Collusion Illusion also came with a late run, closing four wide under jockey Joe Talamo after racing fifth and then fourth off the pace set by Thanks Mr. Eidson through opening fractions of :22.13, :45.28, and :57.95.


Gamely prevailing, Collusion Illusion covered the distance in a final time of 1:11.34 on a fast main track. After Wrecking Crew came Tremont Stakes winner Fore Left, a neck back in third.


"I had the beautiful trip," Talamo said. "And the speed set it up right. I was impressed with my horse the way he gutted it out down the lane. And I think the farther the better with him. Wait 'til he goes seven eighths or two turns. Then you're going to see the best of him."


The Best Pal is considered the major prep race for the track's foremost juvenile stakes, the $300,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) at seven furlongs on closing day, Sept. 2.


Collusion Illusion, by Twirling Candy , won his other start in a straight maiden race at Del Mar July 21 for trainer Mark Glatt and owners Dan Agnew, Jerry Schneider, John Xitco, and Rodeny Orr. He was bred in Florida by Donald R. Dizney out of the First Dude mare Natalie Grace, and was a $300,000 purchase by Glatt from Mayberry Farm's consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.


"He's been nothing but a pro from Day One, since we got him after the sale," said Glatt. "He was probably ready earlier than the race he actually debuted in, but we decided to wait for Del Mar and we're extremely pleased with him. This race came up a little bit quick, I usually like to give a horse more time after his debut, but he's such a classy horse and he never missed a bite of grain.


"I thought about running him back in the Futurity but who knows what will happen between now and September and he was ready to run now. I wouldn't rule out the Futurity. That might be a little too aggressive with him, but we'll keep it as an option."