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Dirty Swagg Training Well for Sham Stakes

It’s Goldencents against the field in Saturday’s Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile for 3-year-olds, but that doesn’t deter Tyler Baze from being optimistic about Dirty Swagg’s chances in the first local steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

Baze has ridden Dirty Swagg twice, third by a length to Carving in the Nov. 10 Real Quiet at Betfair Hollywood Park, and seventh after an eventful start in the Grade I CashCall Futurity at the Inglewood track on Dec. 15.

Owned, bred and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, Dirty Swagg adds blinkers again after shedding them in his last two starts.

“He got pinched at the start and it cost us any position, and he likes to be within a couple lengths of the lead, out of any trouble,” Baze said of the CashCall debacle. “He’s a horse you’ve got to keep in the clear. We’ve only got one horse outside of us that’s faster (Manando).

“Hopefully, Mandano will clear us early and we’ll get a nice stalking trip right behind him and Doug’s horses (Goldencents and Greeley Awesome, both trained by Doug O’Neill). That would put us in a good spot to win.

“I know my horse will try and he’s trained his best on this track. I’m really excited to ride him at Santa Anita, because I’ve never ridden him here. I know he only ran here once and didn’t run any good (ninth by 24 lengths behind Power Broker in the Grade I FrontRunner last Sept. 29), but he trains lights out at this track. He loves this track.”

Kentucky Derby qualifying points will be awarded on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the top four Sham runners.

The field for the Sham, which goes as race three: Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez, 3-1; Goldencents, Kevin Krigger, 4-5; Greeley Awesome, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; Dry Summer, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Dirty Swagg, Tyler Baze, 12-1; and Manando, Martin Garcia, 3-1.



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