01/14/2004 12:00AM

Distance ideal for Bare Necessities

Four Footed Fotos
Bare Necessities won four handicaps last year, including the Sixty Sails.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bare Necessities was third as a heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park last month, a disappointing end to a 2003 campaign that included four stakes wins.

returns in Friday's $75,000 Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita, where she will be favored to win a race designed as a prep to the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 16.

"I figured she'd need a race in between," trainer Wally Dollase said of the time between the Bayakoa and Santa Maria. "She will be dead fit."

Bare Necessities is the 122-pound topweight in the Paseana, run over 1 1/16 miles. Last year, she won four handicaps at between one mile and 1 1/8 miles - the Sacramento at Golden Gate Fields, the Santa Lucia here, the Sixty Sails at Hawthorne, and the Gardenia at Ellis Park. In her lone start in a Grade 1 stakes, she finished third to Azeri and Sister Girl Blues in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"She's a lovely filly, a touch below the best in America," Dollase said.

In the Bakayoa, Bare Necessities was fifth on the backstretch and moved to within three lengths of the lead in early stretch, but faded to finish 7 1/4 lengths behind Star Parade.

The Bayakoa was Bare Necessities's first start since the Gardenia on Aug. 9.

"Considering the long layoff, I was happy with it," Dollase said of the Bakayoa. "To win a race against some nice horses would have been a little tricky off a long layoff."

Bare Necessities has five rivals in the Paseana Handicap, including Angel Gift and Tropical Blossom, the winners of handicaps in northern California last year.

Angel Gift won the Golden Poppy at Bay Meadows in October and followed with a fourth-place finish in the Bayakoa. Tropical Blossom ended a five-race losing streak in the Star Ball Handicap at Golden Gate Fields in late November, her most recent start.

Trainer Ron McAnally has two entrants in the Paseana - La Tour and Southern Oasis.

La Tour was a stakes winner in Chile last year. She won her U.S. debut in an optional claimer over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park last month. Southern Oasis is making her first start since August. Stakes placed last April at Hollywood Park, she won three consecutive races on turf here last winter. Her only win on dirt came in a six-furlong sprint at Hollywood Park in December 2001.

Impetuous Fling, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, will be a longshot.