04/14/2012 9:47PM

Charles Town: Flashy Dresser shoots through small gap to capture Robert Hilton Memorial

Mike Montgomery
Julien Leparoux and Flashy Dresser draw clear late to capture the $250,000 Robert Hilton Memorial for 3-year-olds.

There didn’t appear to be much room between Wild Louis on the rail and 44-1 longshot Mr. Handsome as they raced in deep stretch of Saturday night’ $250,000 Robert Hilton Memorial for 3-year-olds. Julien Leparoux, the riding star of the current Keeneland meet, figured that Flashy Dresser could squeeze through the narrow opening and the heavy favorite wasn’t one bit shy about shooting through the small gap.

The daring move paid off when Flashy Dresser ($3) burst between horses and reached the wire first by a length in the seven-furlong, two-turn race at Charles Town.

Coming into the stretch, it appeared as though Trippi’s Secret was headed for a 13-1 upset. A locally based colt trained by Ollie Figgins III, Trippi’s Secret squandered a clear lead when he blew the turn and went extremely wide. That allowed Wild Louis to re-rally back into contention and Mr. Handsome to make a big run at 44-1. In the end, however, Flashy Dresser finished fastest of all to remain undefeated in three starts.

"I tried to save ground, these turns are so sharp," said Leparoux. "Coming into stretch we had room and I shot for the hole. He isn't used to the turns so they were no help."

A  son of Flashy Bull owned and trained by Fred Seitz, Flashy Dresser easily defeated maidens in his career debut sprinting at Gulfstream Park, then handled two turns and Polytrack as the 9-5 favorite in the Rushaway at Turfway Park in March.

Seitz said Flashy Dresser has earned a vacation.

"He has so much potential, rest is next," Seitz said. "He ran three times in six weeks as a 3-year-old.”

In a three-way photo for second, Mr. Handsome, a Maryland-based colt who was a distant fifth in his  only previous stakes appearance, got second, a neck ahead of Trippi’s Secret, who in turn was a neck in front of fourth-place Wild Louis.

Flashy Dresser completed the seven furlongs  in 1:25.12, .19 of a second faster than the older horse Russell Road ran the distance earlier on the card.