Stan Fulton's El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Uncle Denny is back in full training after undergoing surgery to remove a chip from his left front ankle in March.
Trainer Rafael Becerra is looking toward a probable start in the $250,000 Cal Cup Classic at Oak Tree at Santa Anita for the sophomore son of In Excess
if he can get a prep race into the big bay colt first.
"We're getting him ready for the Cal Cup," Becerra said. "But I need to find a prep race for him first. I'm hoping (the racing office) will write something, hopefully a sprint race, in the next few days so we can make the Cal Cup. I don't want to train him into the race, but if I have to I guess I will."
Uncle Denny, who also won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes as a juvenile, won the March 12 El Camino Real Derby over eventual Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buzzards Bay and was considered a top California contender for the Triple Crown trail until being sidelined by injury. Now back in training, Becerra is hoping for a strong late sophomore campaign.
"He's doing really good right now," Becerra said. "He came back about a week before Del Mar and has been training every day since then. He looks great, bigger and stronger and I think he'll have a good rest of the year and after."
Uncle Denny, who was purchased for $140,000 out of the CTBA/Del Mar Yearling Sale in 2003, has earned $244,913 from winning four of his five career starts.