08/23/2004 12:00AM

'Illusive' captures Westerner


EDMONTON, Alberta - Illusive Force made up for his defeat in the Canadian Derby a year ago by winning the $40,000 Westerner at Northlands Park last Sunday.

The 1 5/16-mile Westerner is the final prep for the $100,000 Speed to Spare Championship at 1 3/8 miles here Sept. 11.

Illusive Force didn't beat a horse in the field of eight in last year's Canadian Derby, won by Raylene.

On Sunday, Quincy Welch kept Illusive Force within a couple of lengths of pacesetting Regal Ability from the outset, collared him late in the backstretch, and went on to a three-quarter-length triumph over After the Run. Regal Ability, who won the Speed to Spare last year, finished third in a field of nine.

Favored Rindanica failed to light the board for the first time this year, as he made a mild move on the backstretch and hung to finish fifth. In seven previous starts, he won twice and was runner-up five times.

Illusive Force paid $8.60 and boosted his lifetime earnings to $300,501. He is trained by Robert Van Overschot for Vancouver-based Canyon Farms.

* Blinkanhesgone lived up to his name Saturday with a 2 1/2-length victory in the male division of the $60,000 Sales Stakes.

* R Lucinda went wire to wire for an easy victory in the $60,000 filly Sales Stakes. R Lucinda, the 2-1 favorite, did not attain the reserve price in last year's sale.