Aqueduct - Nov. 25, 2006
OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- Barclay Tagg pegged Nobiz Like Shobiz as a Triple Crown horse five minutes after he first saw him. In just over 108 seconds on Saturday, Nobiz Like Shobiz proved that Tagg knows what he's talking about.
Making a scintillating move from the quarter pole to the eighth pole, Nobiz Like Shobiz roared to a 6 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. Zanjero rallied from last to be second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Kong the King.
The win puts Tagg and his owner, Elizabeth Volando, back on the Kentucky Derby trail. Tagg won the Derby in 2003 with Funny Cide and finished sixth in it this year with Showing Up.
Tagg said he knew Nobiz Like Shobiz was special when he saw him on a training track at Ocala Stud in the spring.
"They brought him out to the track, and before he jogged three steps I called (Volando) up - and I've never done this with an owner - and said this is the most gorgeous horse I've ever seen. If he's not a Triple Crown candidate, they've never made one."
Nobiz Like Shobiz, a largely built son of Albert the Great, won his debut by 10 3/4 lengths in September before finishing a troubled second behind Scat Daddy in last month's Champagne. Tagg elected to skip the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in order to allow Nobiz Like Shobiz to grow up, and the plan worked to perfection.
After Timber Reserve got away with a soft half-mile in 47.65 seconds, Cornelio Velasquez moved Nobiz Like Shobiz between horses and into second position with four furlongs remaining.
Nobiz Like Shobiz remained just off Timber Reserve's flank until the quarter pole when Velasquez asked him to run, and he went from a half-length behind to seven lengths in front at the eighth pole. Though he did lug in a bit, Nobiz Like Shobiz ($2.90) covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.82, the fastest Remsen since Believe It ran 1:47.80 in 1977.
"I thought it was a great race," Tagg said. "I thought he ran very professionally. That was why I gave him that extra month or five weeks, and we worked on him a little bit. I trained him over on the (Belmont) training track, made him work on the tight turns. We thought it would help him mature a little bit."
Nobiz Like Shobiz will winter in south Florida and likely make one or two starts, but it's expected he will return for the Wood Memorial here April 7.