ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Mark Glatt’s red-hot meet continued on Saturday when Collusion Illusion romped home impressively in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

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Breaking from the rail under Flavien Prat as the 2/5 prohibitive favorite, Collusion Illusion initially sat off while Ragtime Blues set out to post fractions of :21.90 and :44.73 through the far turn.

Put to a drive at the 1/4 pole, Collusion Illusion rounded the corner still with work to do if he wanted to catch the loose leader. Collaring Ragtime Blues at the 1/16 pole, Collusion Illusion blew past his rival to win assuredly by 3 1/4 lengths.

Collusion Illusion completed the 6 1/2-furlong fast dirt sprint in a final time of 1:16.03.

Credit: Benoit Photo

“Around the turn, I was inside and he was taking the dirt not quite well,” Prat said. “Mike Smith (aboard Ragtime Blues) opened up a little at the turn, so I wasn’t super confident, but I knew as soon as we turned for home, if we switched leads, he would give me a good kick.”

Though nowhere close to staying with the winner late, Ragtime Blues was still 3 1/4 lengths clear of Howbeit, who edged Phantom Boss for third by 3/4 of a length. Alcools completed the order of finish.

Collusion Illusion’s win followed a strong 2020 debut against optional claiming rivals here on May 17 and improved his overall record to 5-4-0-0. The 3-year-old Twirling Candy colt won his second graded stakes effort, having taken the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar last summer, and has now earned $248,751 for co-owners Dan Agnew, Rodney Orr, Jerry Schneider, and John Xitco.

“He’s pretty good,” Glatt said. “He obviously followed up on his comeback race today. He had me a little worried there at the top of the stretch, but I think he’s a pretty smart horse and Flavien has a lot of confidence in him. He’s very athletic; there’s no wasted action in his stride.”

Collusion Illusion returned $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Ragtime Blues brought back $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Howbeit paid $3.60 to show.