Owned by Tom Clark’s Rancho San Miguel, George Todaro, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who scored his fourth win on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) undercard. She covered seven furlongs in 1:21.87 on a track rated fast, paying $17.20, $5.80, and $4.20.
“We had her ready," Hollendorfer said. "She’s been training well all week on this racetrack, and yesterday we got to school her in the paddock with the big crowd. We wanted to try to get her to lay back today, and I didn’t know how that would work out. She likes to be up on the pace. But it worked today."
The Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) winner, who has now won six of 10 career races, was third at the start. She settled in second behind the front-running Shaggy Mane, who set moderate early fractions of :22.15 and :45.06 as they ran up the backside. The chestnut filly made her move at the head of the stretch, drawing away to hold off a late-running Pussycat Doll, who paid $3.20 and $2.80 as the even-money choice to place under Garrett Gomez. Pussycat Doll won the Humana Distaff last year. Carriage Trail and Julien Leparoux returned $7.80 to show while 1 3/4 lengths behind Pussycat Doll.
“This filly has so much energy," Bejarano said. "I worked her the last time and she worked beautifully, just wonderful. I thought if she could run like she worked, it would be perfect. I didn’t want to be on the lead with her, just get her in a good position and at the quarter pole let her run.”
The winner’s share of $200,732 nearly doubled Hystericalady’s lifetime earnings to $403,283. She was bred in Kentucky by Abbott Properties. Hystericalady was coming off a four-length optional allowance/claiming race at one mile at Bay Meadows one month ago.
“She hadn’t been out since January and she was a little wound up," said Garrett Gomez of Pussycat Doll, whose only start since winning last year's Humana Distaff was a four-length win in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Jan. 28.. "She was nervous in the post parade.”
Shaggy Mane finished fourth, followed by Leah's Secret, Bushfire, Sweet Fervor, Maryfield, Morner and Wildcat Bettie B.