Dressed in Hermes prevails in Cecil B. DeMille
Trained by Janet Armstrong, the bay juvenile bided his time as Manhattan Dan led the way through the opening fractions of :22.45 and :46.80. Collected took over leaving the second turn after tracking in second, while Dressed in Hermes was just beginning to wind up after entering the stretch three wide.
The Hat Trick gelding didn’t make much headway until switching leads, then powered home to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:36.13. Sent off the 7-2 favorite, Dressed in Hermes paid $9.40 for the win, his first since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Collected took second by 1 1/2 lengths over Frank Conversation, who just kept his neck in front of Rare Candy to secure third.
Dressed in Hermes gave his trainer her first stakes win at Del Mar and just her second win in California. The first also came thanks to Dressed in Hermes, who broke his maiden in the Zuma Beach S. at Santa Anita Park on October 10.
“And I got a surf board for that one,” Armstrong smiled.
Dressed in Hermes is now 5-2-0-1, $162,600 in his career. The Kentucky-bred is out of the unraced Elusive Quality mare Elusive Fashion, making him a half-brother to stakes winner I Rock the Party.
Dressed in Hermes photo courtesy of Benoit Photos
CECIL B. DEMILLE QUOTES
MIKE SMITH (Dressed in Hermes, winner): “Janet (trainer Janet Armstrong) just said ride him with confidence. She said he might do best to lay fourth or fifth and then he should come running. She was right. I just had to guide him around there. He wants to run on, this horse. I had a hard time pulling him up after the race. Had a hard time pulling him up going into the winner’s circle. He’ll run on; mile and an eighth for sure. He’s got a lot of good energy.”
MARTIN GARCIA (Collected, second): “First time at two turns for him and he ran great. He’s going to be a really good horse. He’s learning. This will be a building race for him.”
MARIO GUTIERREZ (Frank Conversation, third): “Good trip for me. My horse ran a good race.”
JANET ARMSTRONG (Dressed in Hermes, winner): “He’s filled out since he travelled (to Breeders’ Cup and back). He’s filled out more, has more weight and more muscle, which is really a good thing. During the stretch run, I really thought he was going to make it. He’s such a nice horse. We’ll give him a little time off now and probably come back at the end of January. We’ll probably try the dirt next. Just don’t know where or which one.”