The 3-year-old Collusion Illusion and the 5-year-old Fashionably Fast lead a nine-horse field of talented sprinters in Saturday’s 6-furlong, $250,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) on NBCSN, with live coverage from Del Mar beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The Bing Crosby winner will receive an automatic berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The three-hour program, in association with TVG, marks the fifth telecast this year in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC and NBCSN from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., scheduled for Nov. 6-7 on NBC and NBCSN. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here.
Commentary and discussion for the telecast will be anchored by TVG’s Todd Schrupp and Simon Bray. Post time for the Bing Crosby is 9:30 p.m. ET.
Collusion Illusion, trained by Mark Glatt and ridden by Flavien Prat, has won four of five starts, but will be challenging older horses for the first time. He comes into the Bing Crosby off an excellent performance in the 6 ½-furlong Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park on June 20, winning by 3 ¼ lengths. Owned by Dan Agnew, Rodney Orr, Jerry Schneider and John Xitco, Collusion Illusion won both his starts at Del Mar last year, breaking his maiden at 5 furlongs in July, and following up that performance with a win in the Best Pal Stakes (G2).
Collusion Illusion made his next start in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park on Sept. 27, and was pulled up in the stretch. After a nearly eight-month layoff, he returned in May for his 3-year-old debut with a sharp 3-length win in a 6-furlong allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita.
California-bred Fashionably Fast, trained by Dean Pederson and ridden by Tiago Pereira, won six consecutive races dating back to July of last year, including three at Del Mar, before stepping into graded stakes company in the 7-furlong Triple Bend (G2) at Santa Anita on June 7. He put up a tough battle against top older horse McKinzie into the stretch, but finished second by 1 ½ lengths.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert entered McKinzie in the Bing Crosby, but said Wednesday that he would be scratched.
Prior to the Triple Bend, Fashionably Fast opened this year winning the California Cup Sprint Stakes and the Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita.
A challenge from Kentucky comes from Calumet Farm’s 4-year-old Lexitonian, who is being shipped to California following a scratch at the gate in last Saturday’s Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. A chestnut son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown, Lexitonian, trained by Jack Sisterson and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, finished third by less than a length in last October’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. After a 10th-place finish in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn in April, Lexitonian rebounded with a solid win in a 7-furlong allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 29.
Harris Farm’s 6-year-old gelding Desert Law fought Cistron down the stretch in last year’s Bing Crosby Stakes, finishing second by a half-length. A California-bred son of Desert Code, trained by Carla Gaines, Desert Law made his first start of this year in the 6-furlong Thor’s Echo Stakes on June 13 at Santa Anita, finishing third as the even-money favorite. Desert Law will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.
W.C. Racing’s 4-year-old gelding Wildman Jack, winner of four of nine starts, will make his dirt track debut on Saturday. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Wildman Jack, a bay son of two-time Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents, made his biggest career score on March 7 when he captured the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) in stakes-record time at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. He was scheduled to make his next start in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) at Meydan but the race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He returned to the U.S. and won the Daytona Stakes (G3) on the turf at Santa Anita on May 23 by a nose over Sparky Ville. However, in his most recent start, he trailed the field in the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on July 11. ***
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, will be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $35 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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ABOUT AMERICA’S BEST RACING
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