ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2015)–Shuffled back going into the Club House turn, favored Dressed in Hermes overcame an outside post position and overhauled second choice I’malreadythere late to take Saturday’s $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes by a half length under Gary Stevens. Owned and bred in Kentucky by Budget Stable, Dressed in Hermes, a 2-year-old gelding by Hat Trick, negotiated one mile on turf in 1:35.76 and provided San Luis Rey Downs-based trainer Janet Armstrong with her first California stakes winner.
Breaking from post position nine in a field of 10 juveniles, Dressed in Hermes, who entered the race as a maiden, was off at 8-5 in his third career start and paid $5.20, $3.20 and $2.80.
“This is my first stakes win in California and I’ve been training here I think for about eight years,” said Armstrong, who has relocated from Santa Anita to San Luis Rey Downs. “I sold my house here and relocated. I love it down there…It’s been a blessing. I only have seven babies down there now. It’s a quieter training facility, it’s laid back.”
Outfitted in blinkers for her first two starts, Dressed in Hermes was a close third in a one mile turf maiden special weight race on Aug. 12 at Del Mar and was ridden for the first time today by Stevens.
“Janet took the blinkers off of him today and it worked out good, but he wasn’t really paying attention in the gate,” said Stevens. “I didn’t want to be as far back as I was. I lost positon (early) but it wound up a great education for her and she handled things very professionally after the first turn. We gave up some ground going into the stretch, but it was a good effort today.”
With the winner’s share of $60,000, Dressed in Hermes increased his earnings to $72,600.
Syd Belzberg, who founded Budget Rent-A-Car and who races as Budget Stable, was on hand for the Zuma Beach as well.
“I would have liked a maiden win before going in these races, but twice we entered (other races), twice we didn’t get in, so here we are,” said Belzberg. “Janet has done a great job.”
Ridden by Mike Smith, I’malreadythere pressed early pacesetter Bully Pulpit into the Club House turn, then gained a narrow advantage prior to being collared by the winner well inside the sixteenth pole. Off at 5-2, he paid $3.40 and $2.60.
“Sometimes you worry about these 2-year-olds going around two turns, but he handled that and acted like he would have kept on running,” said Smith. “He has some stamina. Gary and I both were galloping out to the half-mile pole (after the race) and we couldn’t stop.”
Off at 20-1 and ridden by Tiago Pereira, Bully Pulpit checked in third, a half length behind I’malreadythere and paid $7.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.04, 47.22, 1:11.44 and 1:23.68.
The Zuma Beach was run as the fifth race on a 10-race program.