Elizabeth J. Valando's homebred Nobiz Like Shobiz burst away from the field approaching the eighth pole and cruised to a 6 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Saturday.
Sent off at odds of 2-5, the Champagne (gr. I) runner-up always looked like a winner in his first start around two turns for jockey Cornelio Velasquez and trainer Barclay Tagg.
The bay colt by Albert the Great
out of the Storm Cat
mare Nightstorm, has won two of three lifetime starts. Tagg opted to skip the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) earlier this month at Churchill Downs and believes Nobiz Like Shobiz will be a Classic contender next spring.
"I thought it was a great race," said Tagg, who trained 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner Funny Cide. "He was right there in second or third position the whole way. I thought he ran very professionally. That's what I was hoping for all along, that's why I gave him that extra month or five weeks or whatever.
"We worked on him a little bit," said Tagg "We trained him over the (Belmont Park) training track to help him work around tight turns. We felt things like that would help him mature a little bit. It looked like he was lugging in a little bit, but Cornelio (Velasquez) said everything was fine."
Nobiz Like Shobiz started his career with a 10 3/4-length win over maidens Sept. 9 over one mile at Belmont Park. In his next start, the one-mile Champagne at Belmont, he was pinched back early but rallied to pass the pacesetter Pegasus Wind in the stretch. He could not hold off the more experienced Scat Daddy, finishing second by three-quarters of a length as the 7-5 favorite.
Saturday, Nobiz Like Shobiz settled behind the pacesetter Timber Reserve, racing between horses in third or fourth as Timber Reserve set fractions of of :23 4/5 and :47 3/5. Velasquez angled Nobiz Like Shobiz to the outside of the leader as they completed six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 and was challenging at the quarter pole. He gained a short lead in upper stretch but took off when asked to win in a romp in a time of 1:48 4/5 for the 1 1/8-mile distance on a fast track.
"The last part of the race, he won easily," Velasquez said. "I just had a lot of horse. I think he is the best two-year-old now. He was a little green the first couple of times, but he is getting more better, more better. He likes company and competition."
The winner, who increased his earnings to $226,400, paid $2.90, $2.20, and $2.10. Zanjero, ridden by Garrett Gomez, rallied mildly to be a non-threatening second in his stakes debut and returned $5.20 and $4.20. He finished nearly two lengths in front of Kong the King, a pace factor into the stretch. Kong the King was $5.50 to show with Eibar Coa in the irons.
Timber Reserve finished fourth, followed by Sightseeing, Pink Viper, Summer Doldrums, and Marina Market.