Wood Memorial S. (gr. I)

(gr. I , 9f ,)

NOBIZ LIKE SHOBIZ (B h, 123 lb) $450,000
Albert the Great —Nightstorm , by Storm Cat
B—Elizabeth J. Valando, KY.; O—Elizabeth J. Valando; T—Barclay Tagg

Sightseeing (DK B/ h, 123 lb) $150,000
Pulpit —Resort , by Pleasant Colony
B—Ogden Mills Phipps, KY.; O—Phipps Stable; T—Claude R. McGaughey III

Any Given Saturday (DK B/ h, 123 lb) $75,000
Distorted Humor —Weekend in Indy , by A.P. Indy
B—Racehorse Management, LLC, KY.; O—Winstar Farm LLC and Padua Stables; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Margins: ½, 3¼, 4¾. Others: Summer Doldrums 123($37,500) , Reptilian Smarts 123($22,500) , Flashstorm 123($15,000) . Winning Jockey, Cornelio H. Velasquez.

There’s an old saying in theater that “there’s no business like show business.” The same holds true in racing in having a horse in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). There’s nothing like it.

Elizabeth J. Valando of Greenwich, Conn., not only will have a horse in this year’s Run for the Roses, but figures to have one of the favorites. Her homebred colt Nobiz Like Shobiz cemented his claim as one of the top choices with a triumph in the April 7 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct. The 3-5 favorite, Nobiz Like Showbiz won by a half-length over 18-1 Sightseeing.

Valando will be trying to win this year’s Derby in honor of her late husband, Thomas Valando, who was in show business in New York City. Thomas Valando, who died in 1995, finished fifth in the 1991 Kentucky Derby with Fly So Free.

Fly So Free had gone into the Derby off top credentials. He was the 1990 champion 2-year-old male and went into the Derby off wins in the three stakes at Gulfstream Park—the Florida Derby (gr. I), Fountain of Youth (gr. II), and Hutcheson (gr. II) Stakes—and a second in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) to Strike the Gold at Keeneland. The 3-1 second choice in the Kentucky Derby, Fly So Free finished fifth in the race won by Strike the Gold.

Fly So Free raced through age 5 and retired with earnings of $2.3 million. He stood at Robert N. Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., before being pensioned in 2002. He died the following year.

Nobiz Like Shobiz also has top credentials going into the big race the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. He won the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last fall at Aqueduct and was runner-up in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. In his two other starts this year, he captured the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream and ran third in the Fountain of Youth.

In the way of other major Kentucky Derby qualifications, Nobiz Like Shobiz ranks as a dual qualifier by virtue of his weight assignment on the 2006 Experimental Free Handicap for males and his Dosage Profile and Dosage Index. His Experimental weight of 122 pounds is within 10 pounds of highweight Street Sense’s 127 pounds. His DP of 1.44 and his DI of 0.32 are well below the guidelines of 4.00 and 1.25, respectively.

Nobiz Like Shobiz also has plenty going for him in his Kentucky Derby quest by virtue of the racetrack performances of his sire, Albert the Great. The best son of 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin, Albert the Great was a two-time graded winner at the Kentucky Derby distance of 11¼4 miles in New York, taking the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and Suburban (gr. II) Handicaps.

Valando, who raced earlier homebred graded stakes winner Take the Cake (by Fly So Free), boards Nobiz Like Shobiz’ dam, Nightstorm, at Three Chimneys. A daughter of Storm Cat, Nightstorm produced a Eurosilver filly Feb. 12. She has been bred to Bernardini and pronounced in foal.

Albert the Great, who won five graded stakes, stands at Three Chimneys. His other stakes winners are 2006 Puerto Rican grade I winners Albert the Gold and My Great Love. His fee is $7,500.—D.S.