10/18/2004 11:00PM

Uncle Denny to wait for Prevue

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Puerto Banus (2) is among the probables for Saturday's Grade 3 Carleton Burke Handicap.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The $75,000 Sunny Slope Stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita will not include impressive maiden winner Uncle Denny, who won his Oct. 7 debut with a 79 Beyer Speed Figure.

The figure would have made him a contender in the six-furlong Sunny Slope, but trainer Rafael Becerra said: "It's too short for him. If he's the horse we think he is, he'll run in the Prevue."

The Grade 3, seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue will be run Nov. 20 at Hollywood Park and could include Del Mar Futurity winner Declan's Moon.

Though his winning margin was only a length, Uncle Denny appeared to be waiting on horses through the lane.

"He wants to go two turns," Becerra said.

It was one year ago that Becerra and Fulton unleashed St Averil, who became one of the top 3-year-olds of winter. Although St Averil won his debut with a 96 Beyer, 17 points higher than Uncle Denny, Becerra said Uncle Denny may have even more potential that St Averil.

Ward takes stakes shot with unraced maiden

A small field is expected for the Sunny Slope. Tuesday, four starters were confirmed - Cash in the Bank, Chips Are Down, Thresher, and Slide Home. Slide Home is a first-time starter highly regarded by trainer Wesley Ward. But run a first-time starter against winners?

"I've never done that," Ward said, "but this horse is so talented, and looking at the field it looks like a solid maiden special."

Ward said Slide Home "is training so good, I figure I can take a shot, and I think I can win the Sunshine Millions Sprint with him."

She's a Jewel iffy for Anoakia

If she starts, She's a Jewel would be the high-figure filly in the $75,000 Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Sunday, some two months after her five-length maiden win earned an 81 Beyer. Wet weather, however, has compromised her training schedule.

"She's a very fast, beautiful filly that has a lot of ability," trainer Vladimir Cerin said, though he added, "I would prefer to have another work before the race."

Cerin could have worked her Monday or Tuesday on the wet track, but skipped the workout.

"I choose to have an opportunity for a career instead of forcing it into one race," he said.

Cerin did not rule out a start in the Anoakia, which is coming up weak. "She might not be 100 percent for the race, but we may look at it anyway," he said.

The six-furlong Anoakia may include Bertha Jo, Dressed for Success, Hello Lucky, No Bull Baby, and Swift Wings.

Special Matter continues comeback

The lone stakes starter for Rafael Becerra this weekend will be Special Matter in Saturday's Grade 3 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

A former $12,500 claimer who won the Burke in 2002, Special Matter is making the second start of his comeback. He finished eighth last time out.

In addition to Special Matter, the expected starters for the $100,000 Burke include Continuously, Hatif, Leprechaun Kid, Pellegrino, and Puerto Banus.

Lucky J.H. didn't like being asked to rate

One of the biggest California Cup disappointments was even-money Juvenile favorite Lucky J.H., who was beaten more than 13 lengths.

Stretching out off a maiden sprint win, Lucky J.H. was drawn inside his main pace rival and had two options - gun to the lead or be rated off the pace. Jockey Victor Espinoza told trainer Carla Gaines, "I didn't want to get in a speed duel."

Lucky J.H. got rank, fought Espinoza, and wilted on the far turn and finished fifth.

"He's a young horse with limited experience, and he wasn't even tired," Gaines said. "He'll live to fight another war."

Not so for another Gaines trainee. Sunny Outcome, a talented and lightly raced 4-year-old filly by Cee's Tizzy, has been retired after a tendon injury surfaced this summer at Del Mar.

Barretts gains three stakes horses

The Barretts October mixed sale just got a lot stronger. Three stakes winners - Tronare (Golden Gate Handicap), Cheiron (Snow Chief), and Californian (Forerunner) - are among a seven-horse consignment supplemented to the sale by agent-trainer Kristin Mulhall.

Those three and four others (Tough Game, K O Love, Panoramic, and Lacosta) will be sold on Oct. 25, the first day of the two-day auction at Fairplex Park. The horses are being sold to dissolve a partnership.