04/02/2007 11:00PM

Stakes winners liven up feature

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Bay Meadows has no stakes scheduled this week, but it has a stakes-quality feature atop its Thursday card. An $80,000 optional claimer at one mile, the race features four multiple stakes winners. The fifth runner is stakes-placed in a graded race.

The race will see the comeback of Desert Boom, who earned $406,240 in 2005 but has not raced since handing Declan's Moon his first defeat last July.

Eager Pharisien, who wrapped three of his four career wins around a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Silky Sullivan on Nov. 5, 2005, will make his first start in 15 months.

Hystericalady, who won last year's Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks by 7 1/2 lengths, will be starting for only the second time since last July. She was fourth in the Grade 3 Las Flores at Santa Anita on Feb. 24.

Areyoutalkintome, less than $84,000 away from millionaire status, will be making his first start since a third-place finish in the March 11 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap. He has hit the board in all three career starts here but never won, and he has never won going a mile.

My Creed, coming off a victory in the Presidents' Day Handicap here Feb. 19, may be the one to beat, given his recency and ability around two turns.

But most of the focus will be on Desert Boom and Hystericalady, who might be the most talented runner in here.

The race is obviously a prep for both.

"We're not entering thinking we're without a chance," said Hystericalady's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer. "We want to run her in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs and need to get a race for her."

Desert Boom won the Grade 3 Berkeley followed by a victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel, and also placed in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile and Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in 2005.

He went to the sidelines after running ninth in the Sunshine Millions Classic in January 2006, then rallied from last in the lane to edge Declan's Moon nearly six months later in a 6 1/2-furlong race at Hollywood Park.

"Last time, I had him too ready," said Steve Sherman, who has been training Desert Boom at Bay Meadows for his father, Art Sherman. "I didn't think he had a prayer in the lane, but he won. He did run too hard for what we were trying to do in the long run and suffered a torn muscle. He put out too much."

Sherman says he has taken it a little easier in preparing Desert Boom this time.

"I hope he comes back the same horse," said Sherman, who says the barn is eyeing the June 2 Berkeley at Golden Gate Fields again if Desert Boom, a 7-year-old gelding, runs well.