Bare Necessities is scheduled to make her first start since Nov. 9 in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile on the Santa Anita dirt. According to her rider, that's been the plan all along."They've been preparing for this race (the El Encino)," said her jockey, Jose Valdivia Jr. Thursday morning, speaking of the filly's connections, owner/breeder George Middleton of Iron County Farms, Inc., and trainer Wally Dollase. "After her last race, they sent her to the farm and she's been brought back with this race in mind," Valdivia said. "She's been training unbelievable and it seems like she's improving with each and every race, so I look forward to her running a very, very big race."Bare Necessities, a roan Kentucky-bred daughter of Silver Deputy, was second by a neck to Softly after grabbing the lead in the stretch of the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at one mile on Nov. 9. She won the $300,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) on Oct. 5 before that.Valdivia said he is not concerned about strategy for the El Encino."You can put her wherever you want (in a race)," he said. "If there's no pace, she can be up there. She can stalk them and she's very relaxed and calm. She's maturing a lot."In other El Encino developments, La Brea (gr. I) winner Got Koko is on target after a "perfect" workout on Tuesday. "She worked exactly the way I wanted her," trainer Bruce Headley said. "I asked the girl (exercise rider) to go (five furlongs) in 1:02, she went in 1:02. The (La Canada) series is so close together, we kind of got to work them easy. I think the added distance (from seven furlongs of the La Brea to 1 1/16 miles) will help. The only problem as always is Lady Luck. But I think if everything goes her way, she'll run a great race."
Bella Bellucci, fourth by 4 ¼ lengths in the La Brea, blew out three furlongs at Hollywood Park Thursday morning in :51, breezing, for Neil Drysdale, who also sent Sunday Break the same distance in :49.80.Ms Louisett worked four furlongs at Santa Anita in :48.40 for Craig Dollase. Probable for the El Encino: Adoration, Pat Valenzuela; Bare Necessities, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Bella Bellucci, Mike Smith; Glia, Victor Espinoza; Got Koko, Alex Solis; Ile de France, Julie Krone; and Ms Louisett, Kent Desormeaux.