01/26/2009 12:00AM

Field size could hinder Foxysox


ARCADIA, Calif. - The saddle was barely off Foxysox after a sixth-place finish in an allowance race at Santa Anita on Jan. 1 when jockey Rafael Bejarano sought out trainer Carla Gaines.

Foxysox raced wide and was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Charming Legacy in a slowly run one-mile turf race.

"He said he was sorry and said, 'It was my fault,' "Gaines said.

Bejarano has a chance for redemption on Sunday aboard Foxysox in the $100,000 Tuzla Stakes. Foxysox will be after her sixth stakes win, and first since the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap here last April.

It will not be easy for her. The Grade 3 Tuzla has drawn 14 fillies and mares. If the large field does not pose traffic problems for a closer such as Foxysox, then she faces threats from rivals such as Bahama Mama, Charming Legacy, and Gotta Have Her.

Foxysox's loss on Jan. 1 was her first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at Del Mar in August. She tends to race a few lengths off the pace and grinds her way into contention.

"She kind of has to wind into her races," Gaines said. "She has to get her momentum."

Such a style can work against a mare who does not get a clean trip. Gaines said that on Jan. 1, Foxysox "ran three-eighths of a mile and that was it." She describes the large field on Sunday as "a big problem."

Bahama Mama will not have the same issue. She is expected to lead. Trainer Jim Cassidy is most concerned about Bahama Mama starting from post 12.

"I'd like to see her get closer in," he said.

A wide post could hamper Magical Fantasy, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August. She has drawn the outside post in her first start since a troubled fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30.

Gotta Have Her, the winner of the 2007 Ramser Handicap over this turf course, will start from post 7. She was second in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap on turf at Hollywood Park on Dec. 21 despite losing a shoe.

"The thing just sucked off when she came out of the gate," trainer Jenine Sahadi said. "She looks unbelievable and she's training unbelievable. I keep thinking she might be due for a little luck."