03/31/2003 1:00AM

Santa Anita: Bare Necessities steps up

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Bare Necessities earned a trip to Kentucky for a $300,000 stakes with her win in the restricted $82,875 Santa Lucia Handicap at Santa Anita.

A 4-year-old filly, Bare Necessities won the Santa Lucia by 1 1/2 lengths over Alexine, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.45.

Trained by Wally Dollase, Bare Necessities was ridden by G.F. Almeida, a late replacement for Jose Valdivia, who missed the program because of travel delays from Japan.

Almeida gave Bare Necessities a confident ride. Fourth on the backstretch, Bare Necessities ($6.20) moved into contention on the final turn with a three-wide rally. She took the lead in early stretch and maintained a comfortable advantage.

Alexine finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Printemps, who was last of nine early, trailing the leaders by as many as 19 lengths. Meguial, the 2-1 favorite, finished seventh after challenging for the lead for the first six furlongs.

Bare Necessities has won 5 of 13 starts and $415,281. Dollase said Bare Necessities will start next in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 2.