04/08/2017 6:27PM

Illussion Artist likes Carousel's shorter distance

Coady Photography
Illussion Artist paid $21.40 in winning the Carousel at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Illussion Artist rolled up the rail for a 1 1/2-length win over Chanteline in the $150,000 Carousel on Saturday at Oaklawn. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to favorite Athena in third.

The Carousel, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, was one of two stakes on the card. The $100,000 Arkansas Breeders’ was won by Racer ($7.60).

Illussion Artist ($21.40) settled about five lengths off the pace as Chanteline broke on top and was up by a length through an opening quarter in 21.67 seconds. Chanteline continued to lead through a half-mile in 44.69 seconds as Illussion Artist rode the rail around the turn, put in a determined bid through the stretch, and got past Chanteline in the late stages. The winner covered the distance on a fast track in 1:09.41.

“She’s very nice,” said Richard Eramia, who rode Illussion Artist for trainer Brad Cox. “She was relaxed in the race and when I asked her to take off, I liked the way she ran.”

Illusion Artist was turning back in distance off a pair of mile stakes at Delta Downs. She races for Steve Landers. Landers and Cox also won the next race on the card, a maiden claiming route that served as the nightcap, with Beachtown Benny ($6).

Illussion Artist earned $90,000 for the win, her fifth from seven starts. She is a daughter of Drosselmeyer, who has now earned $245,320.

Racer again upsets Weast Hill

Racer upset Weast Hill for the second time at the Oaklawn meet Saturday when he drove to a 1 1/2-length win in the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders. He also pulled the feat in February in the $100,000 Nodouble.

Weast Hill was the 4-5 favorite in the Arkansas Breeders on the strength of his 7-for-8 record at Oaklawn. He broke with the field in the 1 1/16-miles race, was up by a length through an opening quarter in 23.15, then was joined by Racer and Midnight Ruler through a half-mile in 45.96 and six furlongs in 1:10.70. Racer overtook Weast Hill at the top of the stretch and went on to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:45.37.

Weast Hill finished sixth in the Arkansas Breeders, a race he won in 2016.

Jon Court was aboard Racer for trainer Tim Martin. Val Yagos bred and owns the horse, who earned $60,000 for the win, his fourth from 15 starts. Racer, who is a son of Jonesboro, has now earned $231,078.

“This is so exciting,” Yagos said. “He’s a homebred. I’ve had him from day one. He’s been wonderful. This is just thrilling.”

Yagos and her husband, Bob, won the 2011 Arkansas Derby with Archarcharch.

The estimated attendance ontrack Saturday was 18,000.