08/20/2008 12:00AM

Hystericalady ships in to defend title


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The well-traveled Hystericalady arrived safely at Monmouth Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The 5-year-old mare was accompanied from Golden Gate Fields by Galen May, long-time assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Hystericalady's usual travel companion. She was comfortably bedded down in Todd Pletcher's New Jersey barn.

Hystericalady is back at Monmouth in search of a second straight win in Sunday's Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

She was a dominant winner in her last two, both Grade 2s: the Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs and the Delaware Handicap. This will be her sixth start of the year at a fifth different racetrack.

"She seems happy when she travels and she's training really well," May said. "She's never any trouble when she travels. She is so smooth."

Hystericalady had her final breeze Sunday at Golden Gate, four furlongs in 47.80 seconds on the synthetic strip. She will jog and gallop up to the race.

While Hystericalady looks to extend her stakes winning streak to three, Talkin About Love will be looking to regain the form that carried her to victory last summer in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.

Most recently, the filly was a disappointing sixth in the Lady's Secret Stakes on the Haskell Day undercard as the 5-2 favorite.

"She had a respiratory infection," said breeder, owner, and trainer Kevin Sleeter. "We scoped her right after the race, but it didn't show because of all the dirt up in there. We saw it the day after. She was flushed twice with an antibiotic solution and the infection cleared up in a few days."

In addition to Hystericalady and Talkin About Love, Monmouth stakes coordinator Mike Melendez expects Cowgirls Don't Cry, Lexi Star, Salty Response, and Stage Luck for the Molly Pitcher. Trainer Steve Asmussen nominated Copper State and Rolling Sea, and Melendez anticipates at least one, if not both, for the race. He listed Devil House and Lemon Drop Mom, who is entered in Friday's Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga, as possible runners.

Colonial Kid tops allowance feature

Colonial Kid owns the superior Beyer Speed Figures in Friday's featured $40,000 first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Colonial Kid has posted Beyers of 80 or higher in each of his last three races. Most recently, Colonial Kid ran fifth in a similar first-level allowance at Belmont Park on June 28.

Eddie Castro will ride.

Of the Monmouth-based horses, Corredor's Song shows an improving pattern for trainer Greg Sacco.

This will be the 4-year-old gelding's fourth race of the season, all at Monmouth. He was fourth in his season debut on June 8. In his second start, Corredor's Song battled for the lead but faded to last in the 10-horse field while suffering from respiratory bleeding.

He turned in a stronger effort last time out on the Haskell Day undercard but wound up in a traffic jam.

"He was running a winning race," Sacco said. "I don't know if he would have won but he would have been one-two. He just got annihilated in the stretch when he had a head of steam. He got stopped cold at the eighth pole when he was rolling by horses."

Carlos Marquez Jr., enjoying a solid meet in his return to Monmouth this summer, has the return call.

"I think his best races are off the pace with one big late run," Sacco said. "I'll leave it up to Carlos, but we'll probably take him off the pace again and let him finish."

Spa turf too soft for Presious Passion

Trainer Mary Hartmann believes the footing was too soft for Presious Passion on Saturday in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga.

Presious Passion, winner of Monmouth's United Nations Stakes, set a pokey pace in the 1 1/2-mile race before fading to fourth.

"When you saw them standing, the grass was up over their ankles," Hartmann said. "It was a little too soft for us. He came through it good and everything is fine."

The U.N. was a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In stakes, giving Presious Passion an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita in October.

As a final prep, Hartmann is considering the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont on Sept. 27.