Johnny Eves and jockey Garrett Gomez got the jump on their six rivals in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) and never looked back, cruising to a 1 3/4-length victory at Santa Anita Jan. 25.
With the richer Sunshine Millions Sprint the preceding day, Santa Anita's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) Jan. 25 will have a weak field, giving several of the eight entrants an important graded stakes opportunity.
A total of 126 horses were pre-entered for the Sunshine Millions, which will be run Jan. 24 at Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park, both owned by Magna Entertainment. The eight races feature Florida-breds against California-breds, with purses of $3.6 million.
Favored In Summation regained some of the sparkle he lost last season with a sharp one-length win in the $98,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita on New Year's Day.
Jason and Tom analyze the El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita on New Year's Day. Also The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Fair Grounds Race 7 on Thursday, January 1.
In Summation, fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), will be among three grade I winners in a field of five set to contest Santa Anita Park's $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) at 5 1/2 furlongs on New Year's Day.
Johnny Eves, winless in seven starts this year since capturing the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) 11 months ago, got back to the winner's circle with a strong effort in the $108,400 Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 22.
Speed-burner Bob Black Jack makes his first appearance since the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 22.
Defending Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) champion In Summation, making his first start since April 26, will have plenty to deal with when he takes on the fast-rising Street Boss on Del Mar's Polytrack racing surface July 27.
Grade I winners Johnny Eves and Greg's Gold take another crack at the resurgent Surf Cat in the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita April 5.
Surf Cat closed with a rush to win his first race since 2006, edging Greg's Gold by a half-length in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 16.
Grade I winner Circular Quay, a contender on the Triple Crown trail last year for trainer Todd Pletcher, kicks off his 4-year-old campaign Feb. 16 in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs on the Santa Anita main track.
Comebacking Air Commander shocked his San Fernando (gr. II) rivals at odds of 52-1 when he nosed Johnny Eves in a terrific stretch duel at Santa Anita Jan. 12.
Tiago, a two-time grade I winner last year making his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I), takes on Malibu (gr. I) victor Johnny Eves in the $200,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 12.
Making his graded stakes debut, the fast-improving California sprinter Johnny Eves sped away from the field at the top of the stretch and held sway in the final stages for a one-length win in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day of the 2007-08 season at Santa Anita Park on Dec. 26.
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