07/10/2003 11:00PM

Two dominant in Swaps


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ten Most Wanted was considered a leading threat in the Kentucky Derby, disappointed that day, then bounced back with a terrific runner-up effort in the Belmont Stakes. Eye of the Tiger was an outsider in the Derby, outran his odds to finish fifth, and continued his ascension with an easy victory in last month's Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Both 3-year-olds colts - one who has regained his status after a brief setback, the other seeking to make a permanent mark on the national scene - tower over five rivals in Sunday's Grade 2, $400,000 Swaps Stakes, part of the Gold Cup program at Hollywood Park.

Ten Most Wanted, who has raced seven times at six different racetracks, will be making his first start at his home track since his debut last November. He was plagued by back trouble following the Derby, but has trained without interruption heading into the 1 1/8-mile Swaps, according to his trainer, Wally Dollase.

"He's had no problems at all coming out of the Belmont," Dollase said Friday morning at his barn. "We've been able to train him exactly the way we want to. He ran great in the Belmont. Considering we didn't know if he would like a mile and a half, and didn't know if he would like the slop, to come out and run a race like that told me this horse is really special."

Dollase envisions the Swaps as a prep for next month's Travers Stakes at Saratoga, a race that Ten Most Wanted's sire, Deputy Commander, won in 1997.

Ten Most Wanted will carry top weight of 122 pounds, including regular rider Pat Day, and will concede from two to 10 pounds to his rivals. He will be coupled in the wagering with Logician - who is trained by Dollase's son, Craig - because Paul Reddam owns all of Logician and 25 percent of Ten Most Wanted.

"If we win, we'll buy Craig dinner," said Aimee Dollase, who is Wally's daughter and assistant trainer, and Craig's sister. "There's certain times you don't mind buying."

Logician is making his first start since the Santa Anita Derby, in which he finished sixth. He was a close fourth to Buddy Gil and Atswhatimtalknbout in the San Felipe Stakes earlier this year.

"We freshened him, and it's worked out well," Craig Dollase said. "I'm anxious to see how he runs. I think he'll have a fighting chance."

Eye of the Tiger got an ideal trip in the Affirmed and figures to get a similar stalking trip in the Swaps. He easily whipped Swaps rivals Bullistic and Outta Here in the Affirmed.

During worked sharply here earlier this week, gets a significant weight break from Ten Most Wanted, and has the kind of speed that could make him dangerous if - and this is a big if - he can handle nine furlongs.