The prohibitive favorite in a field reduced to five by the multiple stakes winner Gasia, the Jerry Hollendorfer trained mare drew away from the comebacker Brownie Points in the final furlong to win easily by 3 1/2 lengths for jockey Robby Albarado. She completed the 1 1/16-mile event for older fillies and mares in 1:43.86.
It was the first win for the 5-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor since she romped in the Molly Pitcher (gr. II) by 6 1/4 lengths on a fast Monmouth Park dirt strip Aug. 25. She was a narrowly beaten second in both the Lady's Secret (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) to end her 2007 campaign. She made her seasonal debut in the seven-furlong Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) on Santa Anita's synthetic track, fading to fourth Feb. 2.
Hollendorfer said prior to the race that he was looking for a dirt race for Hystericalady. They could next be headed for the $500,000 Apple Blossom (gr. I) April 5.
Hystericalady broke alertly on the outside of Clever Strike, ridden by Eusebio Razo, and settled in behind that one as they set a leisurely pace of :23,87, :48.27 and 1:12.81.
Albarado, enjoying a push-button ride with the favorite, brought pressure on the pacesetter rounding the final turn and took control coming off the bend. Brownie Points, stalking the leaders from along the inside in fourth for Luis Quinonez, swept past the fading Clever Strike in upper stretch and was in position to challenge Hystericalady down the lane. But the winner, responding to moderate encouragement, repelled that threat approaching the eighth pole.
Clever Strike held on for third while grade II winner Kettleoneup, seeking her fourth consecutive victory, settled for fourth at odds of 3-2 with Calvin Borel aboard. Lemon Drop Mom trailed.
Four-length winner of the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs last May, Hystericalady won for the eighth time in a 17-race career and has now banked $1,278,503 for owners Hollendorfer, Dr. George Todaro, William Clark and Rancho San Miguel. The victory was worth $105,000.
Abbott Properties bred Hystericalady in Kentucky. The chestnut mare is out of Sacramentada, by Northair.
Hystericalady carried 117 pounds, two fewer than the top-weighted Kettleoneup, and paid $3.40, $2.80 and $2.20. Multiple stakes winner Brownie Points ran well to be second in her first since Aug. 18 for trainer Donnie Von Hemel. She returned $5.60 and $5.20, completing a $2 exacta worth $20.20. The Don Von Hemel trainee Clever Strike was $6 to show.
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