Bare Necessities swept to the lead entering the stretch and held off a bid by defending champion Alexine in a 1 1/2-length victory Sunday in the $82,875 Santa Lucia Handicap for fillies and mares.A gray Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly, Bare Necessities ran the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:42.45 on a fast track and paid $7.20, $4 and $4. Goncalino Almeida, substituting for Jose Valdivia Jr., rode the winner at co high-weight of 120 pounds for trainer Wally Dollase and Iron Country Farms, Inc.Alexine, with Corey Nakatani riding at 119 pounds, slipped through on the inside and offered a strong challenge, but was unable to get by Bare Necessities and settled for second place. The runner-up returned $5 and $3.40.Printemps, the 2001 Santa Lucia winner, dropped some 20 lengths behind the early leaders and mounted a belated rush to finish third. Ridden by Frank Alvarado at 120 pounds, Printemps paid $3.80 for show.Meguial, the 2-1 betting favorite, was seventh in the nine-horse field after battling for the lead into the stretch.Bare Necessities settled into a stalking position, some four lengths off the pace, as Meguial and Se Me Acabo dueled through four furlongs in :45.82 and six furlongs in 1:10.20. The winner advanced steadily on the turn, rallied four-wide into the stretch, straightened into the lane with a half-length lead, and held sway as Alexine and Printemps took aim in the stretch."At the three-eighths pole she was ready to run and so I told her to go and took her outside away from the traffic," Almeida said. By Silver Deputy out of Shrewd Vixen, Bare Necessities has five wins from 13 starts and had finished third and fourth against the circuits best 4-year-old fillies in the El Encino and La Canada stakes. The $49,725 first prize increased her earnings to $415,281.
Dollase said Bare Necessities would be pointed to the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 2.(Chart, Equibase)