Collusion Illusion and Fashionably Fast Headline the Bing Crosby Stakes, with Winner Earning Automatic Berth into $2 Million Breeders’ Cup Sprint TVG “Trackside Live”
Coverage Featured in First Two Hours of Saturday’s Show
DEL MAR, Calif. (July 30, 2020) – NBC Sports presents three hours of live horse racing this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, highlighted by 3-year-old Collusion Illusion and the 5-year-old Fashionably Fast competing in a nine-horse field of talented sprinters in the $250,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar, with the winner receiving an automatic berth into $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The Bing Crosby telecast, in association with TVG, is part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing.”
Saturday’s three-hour program, with a 9:30 p.m. ET post time for the Bing Crosby, 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.
The first two hours on NBCSN features TVG Trackside Live coverage, with commentary and discussion for the entire three-hour telecast led by TVG’s Todd Schrupp and Simon Bray.
Collusion Illusion, trained by Mark Glatt and ridden by Flavien Prat, has won 4 of 5 starts, but will be challenging older horses for the first time. He comes into Saturday’s race 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 last 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. (McKinzie was scratched from the Bing Crosby on Wednesday).
Fashionably Fast opened this year winning the California Cup Sprint Stakes and the Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita, prior to the Triple Bend.
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 Stakes 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 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 platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
ABOUT AMERICA’S BEST RACING
America’s Best Racing is a multimedia fan development and awareness-building platform designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net as well as on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.