Barclay Tagg has a knack for switching horses from one surface to another and finding success. It seems the veteran trainer has done it again with Nobiz Like Shobiz.
Making only the second turf start of his career, Nobiz Like Shobiz prevailed by a nose over Twilight Meteor in the $500,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 1 at Delaware Park. The 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds was the second consecutive victory for the son of Albert the Great -Nightstorm, who had raced on dirt in the first eight races of his career, including a 10th-place finish in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Going off as the even-money favorite among nine rivals, Elizabeth Valando’s Kentucky homebred stayed close to a slow pace, rallied three-wide around the far turn and took a narrow lead at the top of the stretch. Under the ride of Javier Castellano, Nobiz Like Shobiz held on gamely as 13-1 longhsot Twilight Meteor just missed at the wire.
It was the sixth win in 10 starts for Nobiz Like Shobiz, who also claimed the Wood Memorial (gr. I), Remsen (gr. II), and Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). Last month at Saratoga, the 3-year-old colt earned his first turf victory in the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. II).
"He has showed up on the turf both times," said Tagg. "We will probably run him next in the Jamaica (Oct. 7) in New York. If he wins that, we could go to the Hollywood Derby."
The win returned Nobiz Like Shobiz bettors $4.20 to win. The exacta (8-7) paid $47.40. Strike a Deal was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
"He is a special horse," said Castellano. "He was great with me today. He never fought me. You can do whatever you want with him. I could have been on the lead today if I wanted. I love this horse. The finish was close, but I knew I won the race."
The final time was 1:49.60.
Wheels Up At Noon, a 90-1 longshot, led through three-quarters (1:14.17) before giving way to the eventual winner.