01/25/2008 12:00AM

Hystericalady ready to run now

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Hystericalady has trained well for Sunday's Grade 1 Santa Monica.

ARCADIA, Calif. - If the weather cooperates and the Santa Anita main track is functional, Hystericalady could put on a show Sunday in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap.

But rain persisted Friday, and the waterlogged Cushion Track surface was useless for racing. After Santa Anita canceled the Friday program, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer expected Hystericalady might need to wait for another day for her comeback.

"She's been training forwardly, and we think we have her fit enough to run seven furlongs, but right now it doesn't look good for running," Hollendorfer said.

A cancellation would be bad news for Hystericalady, but might benefit Pussycat Doll, the 2007 Santa Monica winner whose condensed work pattern suggests she needs more time.

Hystericalady and Pussycat Doll are the principals among the eight fillies and mares in the $250,000 Santa Monica. The field includes Grade 1 winner Dearest Trickski, who would run only if the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint scheduled for Saturday was canceled. Viable longshots include stakes-caliber Silky Smooth and Missvinski; allowance-class entrants are Overly Tempting, Kalookan Year, and Intangaroo.

Hystericalady emerged last year as one of the country's top fillies and mares. Sunday would be her first start since a runner-up finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Hystericalady, a 5-year-old with 7 wins and earnings of $1.1 million from 15 starts, has been working regularly over the all-weather Tapeta Footings surface at Golden Gate Fields, and Hollendorfer said she has not missed a beat even during rain.

"The [Golden Gate] track has been absorbing water really well," Hollendorfer said.

Hystericalady has a series of six-furlong workouts at Golden Gate. Since arriving at Santa Anita on Tuesday, she has galloped on the infield training track.

What if Santa Anita cancels again Sunday?

"We don't have a contingency plan, we were counting on this race," Hollendorfer said. "If the race doesn't make it, we feel they would card it again sooner rather than later."

Santa Anita director of racing Mike Harlow said the Santa Monica could be rescheduled for Feb. 2, Strub Stakes Day, if racing is cancelled.

"We would feel it is extremely important to reschedule as early as possible, so as not to change the progression" of the stakes program, he said.

The seven-furlong Santa Monica can be used as a segue to route races such as the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 9, or as a turn-back point for a six-furlong race such as the $100,000 Honest Lady on Feb. 24.

Rafael Bejarano rides Hystericalady, while Garrett Gomez will try to win the Santa Monica for the second straight year on Pussycat Doll. A 6-year-old mare, Pussycat Doll was purchased at auction last fall for $2.3 million by Roy and Gretchen Jackson. A 7-for-17 sprinter, she was returned to trainer Bob Baffert.

Pussycat Doll has not raced since Oct. 19. Her limited workout pattern (the longest is five furlongs) bears scant resemblance to last year when her nine-workout pattern included two bullet drills at six furlongs and led to a four-length Santa Monica blowout for previous owner Mike Pegram.

Despite the limited work pattern, Baffert said Pussycat Doll is ready.

"She doesn't need a lot," he said. "All she does is run the last three-eighths."

Dearest Trickski, whose four-race win streak includes the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes last out Dec. 29 against her age group (3-year-old fillies who have since turned 4), is only expected to run in the Santa Monica if the Sunshine Millions card on Saturday was canceled.

Missvinski won 4 of 10 in Europe before finishing off-the-board in two U.S. turf routes. Her record overseas includes 4 wins from 6 sprints. New trainer Julio Canani said Missvinski has trained well for her comeback and could improve returning to a synthetic track that has produced blazingly fast times.

"She won on Polytrack in Europe, but that is not Polytrack," Canani said, pointing at the Santa Anita surface. "That . . . is the 605 Freeway."