12/02/2005 1:00AM

A first for Texcess

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Benoit & Associates
The 7 1/2-furlong On Trust Handicap may be a tad too long for favored Areyoutalkintome.

Of all the curious aspects of the career of , including breaking through for his first victory in a stakes race, he has yet to run in a race around one turn. Sure, he sprinted in his debut at Fairplex, but that was around two turns.

As his career has progressed, though, Paul Aguirre - who trains and co-owns Texcess - has grown to believe that Texcess might not want to run as far as 1 1/8 miles, which he did last time out. So, a potentially serendipitous moment awaits in the $95,000 On Trust Handicap on Sunday at Hollywood Park. For the first time in his career, at the end of his 3-year-old season, Texcess will race around one turn, in a 7 1/2-furlong race that might launch a new career as a late runner in elongated sprints.

The On Trust, which is restricted to California-breds, drew a field of seven. Texcess carries 117 pounds, two fewer than the topweight and likely favorite, .

Texcess is an interesting gamble in the On Trust. He might be doing something he has always wanted to do, but the uncertainty could inflate his price.

"Our goal is to keep him in races for Cal-breds, anything between seven furlongs and a mile and a sixteenth," Aguirre said Friday morning. "If this race was any shorter than seven furlongs, I probably wouldn't run him. But it's good timing between his last race and the Sunshine Millions. I think his recent races showed that he might be a little distance limited, so this might be a good fit for him."

Texcess most recently finished fourth in last month's California Cup Classic at 1 1/8 miles around two turns at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

"I think he can get a mile and an eighth in the right company and with the right trip, but everything would have to go right," Aguirre said. "Last time, he was wide, and he made an early move."

The consistent Areyoutalkintome is clearly the one to beat, but the distance of the race might be a tad beyond his optimum. He lost a heartbreaker in last month's Cal Cup Sprint over six furlongs.

"Six furlongs hits him right between the eyes," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "Beyond that, he's probably not as good. But the On Trust is for Cal-breds and it's run at the track he trains on, so we would be foolish not to run."

Of the others, Uncle Denny figures to improve off his comeback race last month, and Stalking Tiger owns all three of his victories at Hollywood Park.