GARY STEVENS, DRESSED IN HERMES, WINNER: “Janet took the blinkers off of him today and it worked out good but he wasn’t really paying attention in the gate. I didn’t want to be as far back as I was, I lost position but it wound up a great education for him and he handled things very professionally after the first turn. We gave up some ground going into the stretch but it was a good effort today.”
MIKE SMITH, I’MALREADYTHERE, SECOND: “He ran good, he doesn’t have to worry about the distance. Sometimes you worry about these two-year-olds going around two turns but he handled that and acted like he would have kept on running. He has some stamina. Gary and I both were galloping out to the half-mile pole and we couldn’t stop. (Gary’s) colt and mine both should get a little more distance and it should help so that maybe we can turn the tables on them at some point.”
JANET ARMSTRONG, DRESSED IN HERMES, WINNER: “This is my first stakes win in California and I’ve been training here for about eight years. I was waiting (for this race). I’ve been with Syd 20-some years, not training, but I managed his offices before training his horses. I did the Budget Rent-A-Car stuff for a while. We’ve been on the also-eligible list with this horse for two races now. I would have preferred a maiden (race), but we couldn’t get in. We waited and waited, but . . . Gary (Stevens) was fabulous.”
Asked if he could go longer: “I don’t know. This is a nice surprise, so we’ll see what happens after this.”
On training out of San Luis Rey Downs: “I sold my house here and moved 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.”
SYD BELZBERG, WINNING OWNER/BREEDER, DRESSED IN HERMES: “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. Janet has done a great job.”
NOTES: Winning owner/breeder Syd Belzberg is from Richmond, British Columbia.