08/22/2007 11:00PM

Nice timing for Hystericalady


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes Saturday at Monmouth Park fit nicely into Hystericalady's schedule.

The fact that Monmouth hosts this year's Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26 and 27 was an added bonus for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

"It just so happens that this race comes up at an opportune time, giving you the double advantage of a chance to try the Monmouth track," Hollendorfer said by phone from Bay Meadows. "It just so happens the Breeders' Cup is there, but the Molly Pitcher was a race that we were looking at regardless."

Hystericalady will likely be favored in among eight fillies and mares in 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher.

The lineup includes Promenade Girl, last year's Molly Pitcher winner, and multiple-graded-stakes winner India.

Trainer Patrick Biancone scratched Mauralakana from the Ballston Spa Handicap on the turf Thursday at Saratoga to run in the Molly Pitcher.

Kettleoneup, Prop Me Up, Lexi Star, and Peak Maria's Way complete the field.

Hystericalady will be making her fourth straight appearance in a stakes with at least a Grade 2 ranking. She joined the elite circle of Grade 1 winners with a decisive four-length victory in the seven-furlong Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Her next two outings came on the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park against the unbeaten Nashoba's Key. Hystericalady was second in the Grade 2 Milady Handicap and third in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap most recently on July 7.

"Those races are pretty decent, and I know we'll face good competition in this race," Hollendorfer said. "We wanted to give her another chance to run long on dirt instead of a synthetic surface. We'll see how she handles it."

Hystericalady arrived at Monmouth on Tuesday evening. Her trainer won't get here until late Friday after spending the morning training horses at Del Mar.

Eddie Castro, second in the Monmouth standings to Joe Bravo, will ride Hystericalady for the first time.

There was apprehension in the Todd Pletcher barn before India easily won the Miss Liberty Stakes here on July 6.

The winner of the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap last fall and the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn in March, India had been eased in her previous outing, the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 7. But she bounced back with a front-running victory.

"She'd had a lot of time off, and she was coming off a bad race," said assistant Anthony Sciametta. "We were trying to figure out if we had her back to where she needed to be. After that last race, I think we do.

"We just have to see if we match up with these kind of horses. Hopefully, we have her back up to this level."

Bravo has the return call.

* Greenery should appreciate the distance as she starts in a second straight 1 3/8-mile race on the turf Saturday in the $70,000 Omnibus Stakes for fillies and mares. She was second last time out in the Drumtop Stakes at Belmont Park.

* Monmouth announced purse hikes, effective Saturday, ranging from $2,000 for claimers to $10,000 for overnight stakes.

* Jim Riccio, Chuck Lopez's agent, will also represent apprentice rider Jermaine Bridgmohan.