01/26/2009 12:00AM

Johnny Eves rebounds in Palos Verdes


ARCADIA, Calif.-The disappointment surrounding the last-place finish by Johnny Eves in the Grade 3 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita has subsided. His win in Sunday's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita took care of that.

Winning the third stakes of his 20-race career, Johnny Eves led throughout the Grade 2 Palos Verdes, setting a modest pace of 22.23 and 45.02 seconds. He held off his six rivals to win by 1 3/4 lengths over 2-1 favorite Devoted Magic. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Johnny Eves ($7.20) ran six furlongs in 1:08.56.

Gomez was aboard Johnny Eves for a win in the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in December, and the loss in the El Conejo. Shortly after the start of the Palos Verdes, when Johnny Eves was leading by a length on the backstretch, Gomez felt more comfortable about Johnny Eves's chances.

"He was in a better comfort zone and he responded when I asked," Gomez said. "The pace was better for him and he showed some versatility."

The Palos Verdes was the first stakes in which Johnny Eves had led throughout.

Devoted Magic closed from sixth to finish three-quarters of a length in front of Halo Najib.

Johnny Eves, 5, has won seven races and $581,120 for owner Sharon Hilliard and trainer Jay Robbins.

Tuzla: Foxysox takes to course

It was not until trainer Carla Gaines walked Santa Anita's rain-soaked turf course early Sunday that she decided to run Foxysox in the $100,000 Tuzla Stakes later in the day.

Gaines needed assurance that the turf course had dried from a days of rain earlier in the week. Gaines found the course to her satisfaction. So did Foxysox.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Foxysox closed from fifth in a field of 10 to win the Tuzla by a half-length over 2-1 favorite Gotta Have Her. Foxysox ($11.20) ran a mile on a good turf course in 1:36.64. Foxysox was 1 3/4 lengths behind Gotta Have Her at the eighth pole, and closed well.

"We were just hoping she would get by," Gaines said.

Gotta Have Her finished a length in front of 12-1 pacesetter Charming Legacy. Kyniska, a 13-1 chance, was vanned off and was reported to be off in her left foreleg, according to track stewards.

Foxysox has won 7 of 24 starts and $681,118.