10/28/2010 12:14PM

U R All That I Am cuts back to sprint in California Cup Distaff

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Benoit & Associates
U R All That I Am is cutting back to six furlongs for the California Cup Distaff.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – U R All That I Am spent the early months of 2010 running successfully in sprints and the last few months padding her r é sum é in two-turn races.

For Saturday’s $100,000 California Cup Distaff at Hollywood Park, she will revert to sprinting in the six-furlong turf race, her first appearance in such a race since a game second to Unzip Me in the Irish O’Brien Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita last March.

Unzip Me has been pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

“The race against Unzip Me was one of the best she’s run,” said Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s assistant at Hollywood Park.

In past years, the Cal Cup Distaff was run on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita, but when the Oak Tree meeting moved to Hollywood Park this year, the race distance was changed. The Distaff has drawn a field of eight fillies and mares, but only two are stakes winners this year – La Nez and U R All That I Am.

Owned by Tom and Debbie Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, U R All That I Am, 4, has won 9 of 19 starts and $358,219. Her only win in five career starts on turf occurred in the Fran’s Valentine Stakes over a mile here in May.

Throughout the year, in sprints and two-turn races, she has raced primarily from off the pace. In the E.B. Johnston Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Fairplex Park on Sept. 11, U R All That I Am set a slow pace and won by 2 1/2 lengths as a heavy favorite. The Johnston Stakes was the longest win of U R All That I Am’s career.

“They once didn’t think she could go long,” Ward said.

U R All That I Am and La Nez will be in similar positions early in the race, likely to be chasing Money Lover and Ruination. Money Lover won the Alphabet Kisses Stakes for maidens here in April and is making her turf debut. Ruination has won two races for statebreds on turf this year, but was ninth in the Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar in July, her only other stakes appearance.

La Nez had mixed results at Del Mar during the summer, winning the Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old statebred fillies over seven furlongs on July 31, but only finishing seventh behind Switch in the one-mile Torrey Pines Stakes against open company Sept. 5.

Trainer Eric Kruljac does not mind the eight-week gap between races, considering that La Nez returned from a break of 10 weeks for the Fleet Treat.

“She’s really sharp,” Kruljac said. “I think she showed it with her Fleet Treat Stakes.”

There is a threat of wet weather on Saturday morning. If the Distaff is taken off the turf course, Kruljac said La Nez will still be in the starting gate.

“If they take it off, we’ll run anyway,” Kruljac said.

If the race stays on turf, La Nez will be making her second start on the surface. She was sixth in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita last November.