Favored Hystericalady took care of the drama to the $280,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) soon after the start. She controlled the pace and then drew away when asked by jockey Eddie Castro to score by 6 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park Aug. 25.
Sent off the 7-5 elect in the field of seven fillies and mares, Hystericalady, a 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor , quickly took command after breaking second behind India, set comfortable fractions all the way, and stopped the timer in a solid 1:41 4/5 for the 1 1/16-mile journey.
Hystericalady set even fractions of :24 for the quarter, :48 for the half, and 1:11 4/5 for six furlongs as India pressed in second and Lexi Star raced third. She reached the furlong pole in front by three. With no danger in sight, the winner drew off easily from there.
Lexi Star, an 11-1 chance, rallied late to gain second by a neck over India, who went off the second choice at 2-1 and gave way in the stretch.
Hystericalady, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, paid $4.80, $3.60 and $2.60 and topped the $43.60 exacta. Lexi Star paid $8.40 and $5.20, while India was $3.40 to show.
The winner carried 119 pounds, two fewer than the co-high weights, India, Kettleoneup and Mauralakana.
“I knew she was fast,” said Castro, who scored his third win of the day on the filly. “I just wanted to get her out there and get her to relax early on. She did just that. She settled down nicely and when we turned for home, she had plenty left. She showed just how good she is today.”
Winner of the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in May, Hystericalady finished third in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) on Cushion Track at Hollywood Park in her last start July 7.
“We were a little discouraged after her last at Hollywood,” Hollendorfer said. “We’ll take her back to California now and come up with a training and racing regimen with the Breeders’ Cup here in mind.”
Hystericalady improved her career record to 7-1-1 in 13 starts and raised her earnings to $656,503 after collecting $180,000 for the partnership of Rancho San Miguel, Hollendorfer and George Todaro.
Kettleoneup finished fourth, followed by Promenade Girl, Peak Maria's Way and Mauralakana. Prop Me Up scratched.