Nobiz Like Shobiz Ready for Close Up in Champagne

The Barclay Tagg-trained Nobiz Like Shobiz is readying for his close up in the Oct. 14 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The one-mile race will mark the son of Albert the Great's debut in stakes company.

The lightly-raced Nobiz Like Shobiz easily broke his maiden in his only career start, Sept. 9 at Belmont Park, getting the one-mile distance in 1:35.26 to finish 10 3/4 lengths ahead of his nearest rival.

Tagg, who also trains Classic winner and champion Funny Cide, said he opted to start Nobiz Like Shobiz in the one-mile maiden race because he felt the colt could handle the distance.

"Basically, we were just trying to get a maiden race and I felt that a mile would be his thing," the trainer said during an Oct. 10 National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference. "We were fortunate that he handled it quite well. Now, we have to test stakes competition if we want to go to the Breeders' Cup."

The trainer said Nobiz Like Shobiz was a slow developing youngster. "He was like a big oaf for a while," Tagg said. "We just didn't want to push him. He started to come around darn near the last time we worked him out of the gate. We worked him with a pretty quick filly and we let him settle behind her and get some dirt in his face."

Tagg conditions the homebred Nobiz Like Shobiz, produced from the Storm cat mare Nightstorm, for Elizabeth Valando. Valando, with her late husband, Tom, campaigned 1990 juvenile champion Fly So Free who used the Champagne as a stepping stone toward his three-length win in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I)