Jockey Rene Douglas unleashed Iron County Farms' homebred Bare Necessities at the head of the stretch and the multiple stakes-winning filly rolled to a convincing 5 1/4-length win in the $200,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park Saturday.
Sent off at 2-5 in the field of nine fillies and mares, the Wally Dollase-trained 4-year-old daughter of Silver Deputy went 1 1/8 mile on a fast track in 1:50. Desert Gold was second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of So Much More, who finished a head in front of closing 7-1 second choice Lead Story.
Bare Necessities was coming off a third place finish behind Azeri in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on June 21. The victory was her fourth in the past five races. Overall, she has seven wins in 16 starts. She earned $120,000 to increase her career bankroll to $715,281. Prior to losing in the Vanity, she had won the Sacramento Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on March 9, the Santa Lucia at Santa Anita on March 30 and the April 26 Sixty Sails (gr. III) at Hawthorne.
Douglas took Bare Necessities into hand on the outside while sixth as Peaceful Place bounced away to a 3 1/4-length lead over the stalkers So Much More and Desert Gold in an opening quarter of :22 4/5. After a half-mile in :46 2/5, So Much More and Larry Melancon put the pressure on, taking over the lead after six furlongs in 1:11 3/5.
Bare Necessities moved closer on the turn for home, splitting horses while still four wide at the quarter-pole. She engaged Desert Gold, ridden by Rafael Bejarano on her inside at the head of the stretch and quickly took command.
Out of the Spectacular Bid mare Shrewd Vixen, the Kentucky bred paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Desert Gold returned $5.20 and $2.10. So Much More paid $2.10.