11/03/2003 1:00AM

Very Vegas wins Bay Meadows Lassie


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Very Vegas ($5.40) led every step of the way as she captured the $60,850 Bay Meadows Lassie at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

After veering out at the start, Very Vegas assumed command in front of Secret Courier, who ran second all the way. Secret Courier sat less than two lengths off Very Vegas most of the way. Very Vegas expanded the margin to two into the lane, and Secret Courier launched a good rally but fell a neck short in the one-mile race. Very Vegas, making her first start around two turns, clocked 1:37.35 for the victory.

Previously undefeated favorite Church Editor rallied for third another 1_ (one one-quarter) lengths back in her attempt for a second straight stakes victory after winning the Black Swan at Fairplex. It was the stakes debut for the four other 2-year-old fillies in the field.

"It was just the way we figured," winning jockey Russell Baze said. "She was running fairly comfortably early, but (Secret Corsage) lay close enough I couldn't relax her completely.

"She was getting tired in the lane, but she wasn't giving up."

Very Vegas earned $33,400 for her third straight victory. The Everest Stables homebred has now earned $57,200 with three wins in five starts.