Belmont Park, 9th Race - October 6, 2007
ELMONT, N.Y. - Nobiz Like Shobiz continues to find everything about the turf appealing.
Winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on dirt in the spring, Nobiz Like Shobiz made it 3 for 3 on the grass with arguably his most impressive performance to date, a four-length victory in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park. Red Giant finished second, a head in front of Pays to Dream.
Despite the powerful victory, Nobiz Like Shobiz will more than likely not run in any Breeders' Cup race on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park. Instead, he will be pointed to the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park on Nov. 25, trainer Barclay Tagg said. Last year, Tagg won the Jamaica and Hollywood Derby with Showing Up, another former stakes winner on dirt.
While many expected Nobiz Like Shobiz to go to the lead in what appeared to be a paceless Jamaica, it was jockey Javier Castellano's goal to get him to settle behind horses. When War Monger went to the front and was chased by Senor Enrico and Red Giant, Castellano was able to get Nobiz Like Shobiz off the pace.
Castellano kept Nobiz Like Shobiz behind horses until upper stretch, when he moved him outside of Red Giant and War Monger, and Nobiz Like Shobiz exploded to run a final furlong in 11.68 seconds en route to covering 1 1/8 miles 1:46.80. Nobiz Like Shobiz returned $5.90 as the favorite.
"He settled down beautifully today," Castellano said. "He was more relaxed, a more mature horse. He didn't pull - he just followed the horses, and when I asked him, he split horses and he finished very powerfully."
Tagg credited Castellano with being able to get Nobiz Like Shobiz to settle so nicely.
"It certainly looked like his best race," Tagg said. "I've always wanted to take him back; I've always been afraid to. Javier's got beautiful hands - if anybody can do it, he can. He said he just dropped his head and he dropped back and he was as relaxed as could be. That's the whole key, to get him relaxed."
The victory was the 10th from 30 starters for Tagg at this meet, and his fifth stakes score.