There are horses, there are courses, and there are horses for courses. And then there’s Hystericalady. The 5-year-old chestnut mare, back at Monmouth to seek a repeat win in Sunday’s $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2), has won stakes at eight different racetracks in five different states during her career, racking up frequent flyer miles and building her bankroll to $2,110,556.
“She just loves to travel,” said May, who has logged a lot of miles himself with the Hollendorfer outfit. “She settled right in here, happy as could be.”
On Wednesday, Hystericalady jogged and schooled in the paddock. The rest of the week, she’ll just gallop up to Sunday’s mile and an eighth Molly Pitcher. She had her final major work on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields, drilling a half-mile in :47 4/5 over the synthetic surface, ninth best of 114 works at the distance that morning.
Last year, with the Breeders’ Cup looming at Monmouth, Hollendorfer shipped the filly in for the Molly Pitcher. She used her usual front-running tactics to sprint away from the field, winning by more than six lengths.
Hollendorfer used the Grade 1 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Santa Anita as the filly’s Breeders’ Cup prep, and Hystericalady was beaten a nose by Tough Tiz’s Sis over a synthetic surface she does not seem to relish.
In the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, run over a sloppy track here, Hystericalady made the lead briefly in the stretch despite a bumping incident at the eighth pole, and then dropped a neck decision to champion Ginger Punch.
This season, Hollendorfer asked her to run just once on the synthetic track at Santa Anita (a fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Monica in February), and has since sent her around the country to compete on dirt tracks. Hystericalady won the Azeri at Oaklawn Park, was beaten a head and a nose in the Grade 12 Humana Distaff, and then won her second Churchill Downs try, taking the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap by seven and a half.
In her most recent outing, Hystericalady was shipped across the country from her Northern California base to score a four-length victory in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 13.
Now it’s five weeks later and she’s taken another cross-continental trip because the distance and the timing are right.
“I need a race for her,” said Hollendorfer, who is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth on Saturday. “Having won this race there last year, and running well in the Breeders’ Cup, I do know our filly likes that racetrack.”
Monmouth stakes coordinator Mike Melendez expects a field of at least seven fillies and mares to contest this 63rd running of the Molly Pitcher. In addition to Hystericalady, the probables are Cowgirls Don’t Cry, Lexi Star, Salty Response, Stage Luck and Talkin About Love.