Collusion Illusion Heads Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship

GLATT’S COLLUSION ILLUSION & MILLER’S C Z ROCKET HEAD SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP

RACE IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE QUALIFIER

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2020)–Trainer Mark Glatt’s red-hot Collusion Illusion, who seeks his fourth consecutive win and Peter Miller’s C Z Rocket, in search of his fifth consecutive win photo, headline a solid field of five 3-year-olds and up in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs.

A winner of five out of six starts, Collusion Illusion was all heart in taking Del Mar’s Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes by a nose on Aug. 1, while C Z Rocket, in his first graded stakes assignment, proved best by a half length in the Grade II Pat O’Brien going seven furlongs on Aug. 29.

The Santa Anita Sprint Championship is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, with the winner earning a fees-paid berth into the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland on Nov. 7.

COLLUSION ILLUSION

Owner:  Dan Agnew, Jerry Schneider, John Xitco & Dr. Rodney Orr

Trainer:  Mark Glatt

Unbeaten in three starts this year, this Florida-bred colt by Twirling Candy earned a career-best Beyer Speed figure of 93 in winning the Crosby and looms the horse to beat from the rail, from which he aired two starts back, taking the Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes here by 3 ¼ lengths on June 20.  With the only blemish on his form coming in the mile and one sixteenth Grade I American Pharoah in September, 2019, Collusion Illusion is unbeaten in three starts at six furlongs and has won five out of his six career outs.

C Z ROCKET

Owner:  Tom Kagele

Trainer:  Peter Miller

A miracle $40,000 claim five starts back on April 30 at Oaklawn Park, this 6-year-old City Zip gelding has won all four of starts for Miller, at Churchill Downs, Keeneland and most recently, Del Mar, as he took the seven furlong Pat O’Brien as the even money favorite.  Ridden by Flavien Prat in the Pat O’Brien, he’ll be ridden for the first time by Luis Saez on Sunday and with a 97 Beyer in hand, should be very tough to beat in his 22nd career start.

FLAGSTAFF

Owner:  Lane’s End Racing & Hronis Racing, LLC

Trainer:  John Sadler

One of the Southern California circuits most consistent sprinters, he made the lead a furlong from home but could not hold off C Z Rocket late when finishing second, beaten a half length in the Grade II Pat O’Brien.  A winner of the seven furlong San Carlos Stakes four starts back on March 7, he’s kept good company in five starts this year, winning one while three times second.

THE GRADE II SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST ORDER

Race 8 of 11 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Collusion Illusion–Flavien Prat–122
  2. Desert Law–Juan Hernandez–122
  3. Flagstaff–Victor Espinoza–124
  4. C Z Rocket–Luis Saez–124
  5. Giant Expectations–Abel Cedillo–122

First post time for an 11-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m.  Although there is no public admittance, Santa Anita’s races can be viewed free of charge via the track’s livestream video at santaanita.com