Grade I winner Hystericalady, the 3 1/2-length winner of the Azeri (gr. III) last month at Oaklawn Park, will not return for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 5, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
"There is nothing physically wrong with the mare," said Hollendorfer, speaking from his Bay Meadows barn on April 1. "But she just is not quite 100 percent. And she needs to be against those mares. There will be other days and other races."
The 5-year-old Hystericalady, a winner of eight of 17 starts and more than $1.2 million, would have been the second choice under 119 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom for older fillies and mares. Ginger Punch, the 2007 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and Eclipse Award winner, will be favored, likely at odds-on, under top weight of 122 pounds. Ramon Dominguez has the mount.
Also expected for the Apple Blossom is Kettleoneup, to be ridden by Calvin Borel at 116 pounds, and the unbeaten Zenyatta, to be handled by Mike Smith at 116.
Hollendorfer said Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Heatseeker will contest the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) on the same card. Heatseeker has been assigned top weight of 119 pounds for the 1 1/8-mile assignment.
A 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway , the stretch-running Heatseeker, racing exclusively in California, is 6-4-2 from 15 starts and has banked $927,776 for owner William Deburgh. Hollendorfer hopes to have regular rider Rafael Bejarano back for the Oaklawn Handicap.
Shortly after winning the Big 'Cap on Heatseeker, Bejarano sustained two fractured vertebrae in a spill at Santa Anita, and has missed three weeks. "I put Rafael on a horse Thursday at Santa Anita," Hollendorfer said, "and I'm expecting he will be able to ride Heatseeker."
Entries for the Apple Blossom and Oaklawn handicaps will be drawn April 3.