08/19/2011 2:20PM

Emerald Distaff: Hollendorfer shipper U R All That I Am challenges locally based You Me and Ema B


AUBURN, Wash. – On paper, it’s a mismatch. A Hall of Fame trainer with scores of stakes victories on racing’s most competitive circuits versus a Northwest journeyman who went 20 long years without a single stakes win. But the 16th Emerald Distaff won’t be decided on paper Sunday on the Longacres Mile undercard, and trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and Margo Lloyd won’t literally be trading punches.

Hollendorfer, inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame last weekend at Saratoga, will send out U R All That I Am, a versatile middle-distance specialist from California, while Lloyd will saddle two-time Emerald Downs stakes winner You Me and Ema B. Lots of syllables for track announcer Robert Geller; lots of weighty questions for handicappers. Will U R All That I Am take to the sandy surface in her first start at Emerald? She has won stakes on dirt, grass, and synthetics, so probably yes. Can You Me and Ema B carry her speed over nine furlongs? The jury is out; she has never gone that far.

Can any of the other six entrants summon a winning effort in Emerald’s traditional championship for fillies and mares?

U R All That I Am has won 10 of 27 starts for Hollendorfer, who saddled Distaff winners in 2005 (Secret Corsage), 2007 (Gemstone Rush), and 2008 (Lemon Kiss). U R All That I Am has the credential to make it four wins in seven years. She returned from a short layoff to finish a close third in a six-furlong stakes race at Sacramento on July 16, and was third again in a 1 1/16-mile stakes on the grass at Santa Rosa two weeks later. Kevin Krigger, who won aboard U R All That I Am at Golden Gate in April, will be in from Northern California for the ride.

While Hollendorfer’s horse has a stalking style, Lloyd’s speedy filly is a committed front-runner. You Me and Ema B has won 4 of 5 career starts, either making the pace or pressing it. She won the one-mile Boeing Handicap on July 16 in her first route attempt and gave the impression an additional furlong wouldn’t be a problem. You Me and Ema B will have a new rider Sunday as Jose Zunino steps in for Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo, who was injured in a spill last week and could miss the rest of the meeting.

Also entered are defending champion Kimmyv, who’s winless in four starts in 2011, Hard Way Ten, Private Fortune, Rewritten, a contender from off the pace, Sweet Nellie Brown, and Zenovit.