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Big Cap for First Dude?

Trainer Bob Baffert may have as many as four starters in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, but said on Friday that he is unlikely to finalize his team until Monday.


Baffert is likely to start First Dude, who was second to the Baffert-trained Lookin At Lucky in the Preakness Stakes last year. Baffert began training First Dude earlier this month, after the colt finished a troubled fourth in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29 for trainer Dale Romans.


On Thursday, First Dude worked five furlongs in 58.20 seconds, pleasing Baffert.


“He did it in the right way,” Baffert said. “I think he’s earned his way into the spot.”

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