Hystericalady: A Three Million Dollar Horse

The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale took place on Monday, 3 November 2008, and even though there were a few horses that sold for average prices due to the economic situation, there were also a few that stood out and fetched staggeringly high prices. One of those horses was Hystericalady, bought by John Ferguson on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum for $3 million. It was the highest price of the day, and it is expected that the Ruler of Dubai will be settling Hystericalady into his breeding program, rather than continuing her horse racing career.

Hystericalady was bred in Kentucky and was foaled on 2 April 2003. Sired by Distorted Humor, out of Sacramentada, she has been a formidable force in the horse racing industry. The beautiful chestnut was purchased by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in 2004, for $125,000, and he shared ownership of her with Tom Clark (Rancho San Miguel) and Dr. George Tadaro. Hollendorfer remained her trainer and she went on to win eleven of her twenty three career starts, including major races such as the Juan Gonzales Memorial Stakes (2005), Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks (2006), Humana Distaff Handicap (2007), Molly Pitcher Stakes (2007, 2008) and the Fleur de Lis Handicap, Delaware Handicap and Azeri Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 2008.

Not long after the hammer went down on Hystericalady at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, Jerry Hollendorfer walked over to John Ferguson to try and encourage him to keep her in the horse racing scene as opposed to retiring her. Ferguson commented: "It's a business. You can't hold on forever. The proper time for her to be bred is now, but she still has more racing in her if they want to do that. She's never had anything wrong with her." Tom Clark also reminisced over Hystericalady as he watched her walk off for the last time: "You could lead her around with a string. Nothing bothers her. She never got ruffled. She had a huge heart. There was never a wasted piece of energy in that mare."

Ferguson stated that even though Hollendorfer made a good argument in regard to Hystericalady’s racing capabilities, it is highly unlikely that she will be seen on a racecourse again. He believes that the Sheikh’s interest in this magnificent five year old, is for her to retire from racing and join his top class breeding program. No doubt that whether she is racing or breeding, Hystericalady will achieve greatness.

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