In the weeks leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), many trainers were intimidated by Nobiz Like Shobiz and steered clear of the colt along the Triple Crown trail.
Though Nobiz Like Shobiz fell short in the Run for the Roses and wound up unplaced, he proved to be back in top form following a half-length score in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile race marked his first start on the turf.
The 3-year-old son of Albert the Great wasn't anxious for the early lead of the $150,000 race, as Darley Stable's Sahara Heat bolted to the front and set controlled fractions of :24.49, :49.20, and 1:13.56.
It seemed to be anybody's game throughout much of the race with about three lengths separating the field. Sahara Heat remained uncontested on the front end until Nobiz Like Shobiz, who had stayed off the pace, moved up from third to take the lead as the field rounded the final turn.
Ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, Nobiz Like Shobiz returned $5.20, $3.30, and $2.30, and stopped the clock in 1:49.29 on the firm turf course.
Marcavelly moved up in the final strides for second. It was a neck back to Distorted Reality and another neck back to Ambassador in fourth. Jazz Quest was a close up fifth, and it was a long way back to Sahara Heat.
“He bobbled a little bit," said Marcavelly's jockey Edgar Prado. "We were trying hard to get there. It seemed like a hole was there, but it didn’t open up right away. So, I took him to the outside and he came back running again. He was fighting hard.”
Barclay Tagg conditions Nobiz Like Shobiz for owner/breeder Elizabeth Valando. The colt broke his maiden at first asking by more than 10 lengths as a 2-year-old and won the Remsen (gr. II), Holy Bull (gr. III), and Wood Memorial (gr. I) on his way to the Derby.
He came into the Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup off a second to Any Given Saturday in the July 4 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park and now boasts a record of 4-2-1 from eight career starts and earnings of $834,900.
"He seems to be versatile," said Tagg of Nobiz Like Shobiz. "He’s won graded stakes on both surfaces. I don’t know about the Breeders’ Cup (October 27, Monmouth Park), what we would do there. He might just go out for the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), or something like that."