10/04/2007 11:00PM

Hystericalady looks a formidable foe

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - The Breeders' Cup Distaff later this month will be a lot tougher for Hystericalady than the Grade 1 Lady's Secret Handicap on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Six fillies and mares entered the 1 1/16-mile Lady's Secret, and nothing short of utter dominance is expected from Hystericalady. A front-runner, she should make a lonely lead on Santa Anita's fast new Cushion Track, which has been bias-free around two turns.

"The pace holds better on this track than Hollywood, but I think it's fair for everyone," jockey David Flores said.

Five others in the Lady's Secret would argue the only thing fair about the Lady's Secret would be if Hystericalady gave them a head start.

Trainer Bob Baffert will try to upset the favorite with the improving Tough Tiz's Sis.

"On paper, she's got the most quality," Baffert said of Hystericalady.

It will not be easy to beat her. Hystericalady, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, has won 7 races and $656,503 from 13 starts, including graded stakes from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Her workouts since a 6 1/4-length win in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Aug. 25 suggest she has held form.

The Lady's Secret is a "Win and You're In" race that gives the winner a berth in the BC Distaff. The $250,000 Lady's Secret is the first time Hystericalady will have run on Cushion Track since a third and a second in summer at Hollywood.

"She got beat by a good filly," Flores said, referring to undefeated Nashoba's Key.

Hystericalady is the only Lady's Secret starter probable for the BC Distaff. The Hollywood Oaks winner Tough Tiz's Sis and the Las Madrinas Handicap winner Bai and Bai would have to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup for $180,000.

Bai and Bai, Fun Logic and comebacker She's an Eleven are using the Lady's Secret to prep for the California Cup Matron on Nov. 3. Spenditallbaby also is a California-bred.

If Hystericalady misfires, Tough Tiz's Sis is the most likely alternative. "She loves the Cushion," Baffert said, and that her most recent workout "was the best she has ever worked."

Tough Tiz's Sis has won 4 races and $284,872 from 10 starts. She finished third last time out in the Grade 1 Gazelle at Belmont Park.

Baffert did not close the door on the Breeders' Cup, but said Tough Tiz's Sis "would have to look sensational." Victor Espinoza rides.

She's an Eleven was scheduled to be bred this past spring, but when she did not get in foal she returned to training. Winner of the Melair Stakes in April 2006, she probably needs a race.