INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Johnny Eves, winless since his victory last December in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, broke a seven-race losing streak with a hard-fought victory on Saturday at Hollywood Park in the Grade 3, $108,400 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes for sprinters.
Johnny Eves ($9) prevailed in a race that found the first five finishers separated by 1 1/2 lengths. After looming three paths wide at the quarter pole to challenge the leaders, Johnny Eves won by one length over Northern Soldier, with Noble Court, the 2-1 favorite, closing strongly late for third.
Under jockey Garrett Gomez, who was winning for the fourth time on the card, Johnny Eves was timed in 1:07.90 for six furlongs on a Cushion Track surface that played fast all day.
Wiredfortwotwenty, who set sizzling early fractions of 21.52 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.19 seconds for a half-mile, faded late to finish fourth, with the comebacking Bob Black Jack fifth, beaten less than two lengths in his first start since the Kentucky Derby.
Six Pack Abs and Master Daniel completed the order of finish.
Johnny Eves, 4, is a California-bred gelding by Skimming out of the Capote mare Capote's Halo. He was bred and is owned by Carl and Sharon Hilliard, who race as Moincoin LLC, and he is trained by Jay Robbins.
Johnny Eves had finished second in the California Cup Sprint on Oct. 5 in his most recent start. He has now won six times in 18 starts and has earned $485,120.
Hollywood Park, 7th Race - November 22, 2008