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Collusion Illusion Among Pair of Grade 1 Winners Nominated to Malibu
Collusion Illusion training at Santa Anita (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Collusion Illusion Among Pair of Grade 1 Winners Nominated to Malibu

ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Mark Glatt’s Collusion Illusion, champion of August’s Bing Crosby Stakes (G1), is among a pair of Grade 1 winners nominated to the $300,000 Runhappy Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

The Malibu annually headlines the opening day card, traditionally held on December 26, and is the final Grade 1 event of the year restricted to 3-year-old horses.

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Collusion Illusion’s Bing Crosby victory against a field of elders earned his place in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), where he finished 12th under regular rider Flavien Prat. The Malibu would be his first test at 7 furlongs.

Storm the Court (trainer Peter Eurton) is still seeking his first victory since last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) over this course, but he’s been facing several high-end 3-year-olds in routes and was sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Charlatan (Bob Baffert) would have been the third Grade 1 winner nominated to the Malibu, if not for a tough-luck drug positive after he won the Arkansas Derby (G1). He is unraced since that May 2 event.

Considered a year ago at this time to be a top Kentucky Derby contender, Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy) never made the Run for the Roses, but he’s yet to lose a one-turn event. He won last winter’s Nashua Stakes (G3) and the Jerome Stakes.

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Speedy California-bred Brickyard Ride (Craig Lewis) is nominated to what would mark his first stakes try. He’s won twice on both local surfaces, including one over each in his past 2 starts.

Speaking of speed, one of the coountry’s quickest dirt horses is another nominee. Nashville (Steve Asmussen) is undefeated in 3 starts, including the Perryville Stakes at Keeneland that kicked off the Saturday Breeders’ Cup card.

Express Train (John Shirreffs), Idol (Richard Baltas), Shooters Shoot (Eurton), Silver State (Asmussen), Strongconstitution (Doug O’Neill), and Thousand Words (Baffert) complete the list of 12 total nominees.

Free Malibu Stakes nominees’ PPs, courtesy of Equibase

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