08/24/2006 11:00PM

Uncle Denny to stand at Tommy Town in 2007 for a fee of $3,000


DEL MAR, Calif. - Uncle Denny, a stakes winner at 2 and 3, has been retired and will enter stud at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in Santa Ynez, Calif., next year, farm officials announced recently.

Uncle Denny, 4, won 4 of 10 starts and $288,981 in a career that began in 2004 and ended earlier this year. He won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes for statebreds at Santa Anita in 2004 and the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows in 2005. In his final start, Uncle Denny finished third in the Crystal Water Handicap for statebreds on turf at Santa Anita in March.

By In Excess, Uncle Denny won four of his first five starts. He was trained by Rafael Becerra and owned by Stan Fulton.

Uncle Denny will stand for $3,000, according to Tommy Town manager Mike Allen.

"He's a big horse that stands 17 hands," Allen said. "I think he'll throw size for sure. He won early at 2 and a lot of people like that in California."

Uncle Denny is in the process of being syndicated, Allen said.

Two headed for Cal Cup races

Master James and Unfurl the Flag, winners on Wednesday's program at Del Mar, are bound for the California Cup program at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 28.

Master James, who won his second consecutive race in Thursday's sixth race, is a candidate for the $150,000 California Cup Sprint at six furlongs. The race would be his stakes debut.

Unfurl the Flag won an optional claimer at a mile on turf and may return for the $175,000 California Cup Mile.

Both Master James and Unfurl the Flag are by Bertrando, who through Thursday was the leading sire in California in progeny earnings this year.

Master James has improved quickly this summer for trainer Mike Mitchell. He beat maidens by 10 1/4 lengths on Aug. 9 and returned on Wednesday to win an optional claimer by four lengths.

The decision to start Master James on Wednesday was made at the last minute, according to Mitchell.

"When the race filled, I decided we might as well go with it," he said. "I wanted to get a little more education under him. Now, he's pretty well set, and I shouldn't have to do too much with him."

Mitchell said he may train Master James up to the Cal Cup Sprint.

A winner of 2 of 3 starts, Master James is co-owned by Jerry Frankel and Robert Strauss. Frankel owned Joey Franco, the 2003 California-bred horse of the year. Master James was bred by Frankel.

Unfurl the Flag won for the first time in four starts on turf on Wednesday. A 6-year-old gelding, Unfurl the Flag had lost six consecutive starts since winning the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park in July 2005.

Unfurl the Flag led throughout the optional claimer. He was two lengths in front with a quarter-mile remaining and was fully extended to hold off the New Zealand import Captain Kurt.

"He was waiting on horses when he made the lead," trainer David Bernstein said. "He's getting cagey in his old age.

"There is always the doubt until they do it. When they get a little older, they lose a little zip. This seems to have worked."

Unfurl the Flag has won 7 of 25 starts and earned $631,225.