01/12/2008 12:00AM

Foxysox looms over five foes


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Carla Gaines is in a hurry to watch Foxysox in the $75,000 Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita on Monday. She wants to distance herself from Foxysox's last-place finish in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park last month as soon as possible.

"Maybe the trainer didn't have her fit enough," Gaines said. "Any level of fitness that she was lacking, the race put it in her. This time, I won't have any excuses."

Foxysox will not have much competition, either. The Paseana has drawn a field of six fillies and mares, but none of them won her last start. Fonce De, who finished third in a field of five in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, had the best finish in her most recent start.

The most accomplished member of the field is Monashee, who has won 17 of 23 starts racing primarily in western Canada. A 6-year-old mare, Monashee finished eighth in the Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine on Nov. 10, a loss that ended a streak of 11 consecutive wins in stakes at Hastings Park in Vancouver and Northlands Park in Edmonton.

The Paseana will be Monashee's first start in the United States. She has been based with trainer Jason Orman since arriving in California earlier this month, having previously been trained by Tracy McCarthy.

The field also includes Sweet Belle, who was fourth in the Intercontinental Handicap at Hollywood Park in November; Star Voyager, who is winless in three starts and will be a longshot; and Grain of Truth, who was fourth in the Bayakoa Handicap.

Foxysox has not won as many races as Monashee, but has won more prestigious races. In 2006, Foxysox won four stakes in Southern California, including three graded stakes. She finished that season with a victory in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Foxysox made just two starts in 2007. She was seventh in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap in March before being sidelined by injury. Gaines was frustrated at the way the Dahlia Handicap unfolded last month.

"She got bottled up behind a filly that set a slow pace," Gaines said of race-winner Citronnade. "I can come up with a million excuses."

Owned by Warren Williamson, Foxysox will be making just her second start on a synthetic track in the Paseana. A winner of 5 of 16 starts and $448,254, Foxysox, 5, made her synthetic-track debut when she won the 2006 Bayakoa Handicap.