Nobiz Like Showbiz wins at Gulfstream Park
Nobiz Like Shobiz kicked off his road to Churchill Downs with a wire-to-wire, 1 1/2 length win over Drums of Thunder in the Holy Bull Stakes (GIII) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Scat Daddy was third, another 1 1/4 lengths back in the one-mile, $150,000 race for 3-year-olds that serves as the first key Kentucky Derby prep at the south Florida track.
Sent off as the heavy favorite at 3-5, Nobiz Like Showbiz was a bit reluctant to go into the outside gate in the field of eight. However, once the field was sent on his way, Nobiz Like Shobiz broke very well, basically in tandem with second choice Scat Daddy to his inside. That pair traveled together for more than a half-mile of the one-turn race, with Scat Daddy being ridden harder by his jockey John Velazquez than Cornelio Velasquez on Nobiz Like Shobiz.
When Scat Daddy began to fade nearing the stretch, Nobiz Like Shobiz appeared to be home free. A fresh challenge came in the form of longshot Drums of Thunder and Manuel Cruz, who had been chasing the leaders from the three path. Nobiz Like Shobiz didn’t switch leads until mid-stretch, which apparently caused him to drift in towards the rail. Once Velasquez got him straightened out, though, he leveled off nicely and cruised under the wire with his foes comfortably behind. Drums of Thunder was likewise unthreatened by Scat Daddy, who was some eight lengths clear of his stablemate Sam P. Pop Goes the Tiger, Bold Start, One of the Best, and Dukes Flying Tiger completed the finish.
Owned and bred by Elizabeth Valando, Nobiz Like Shobiz notched his third win in four starts, with his only loss coming to Scat Daddy in the Champagne (GI) last October.
Trainer Barclay Tagg, who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby with Funny Cide, liked what he saw.
“It was exactly what I wanted,” Tagg said. “I wanted to get a good race in him without undue stress to win the race. We’ll see how he comes out of this race. Maybe the Fountain of Youth (Mar. 3 at Gulfstream) will be next.”
The winner paid $3.40, $3 and $2.10. Drums of Thunder returned $9.40 and $2.40 as a 27-1 outsider. Scat Daddy paid $2.10 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $46.40.
Three-year-old sprinters were also in action on the card at Gulfstream Saturday, with Adore the Gold, much like Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Holy Bull, going wire-to-wire to score his first graded stakes win in the 6 1/2 furlong Swale Stakes (GII).
The mid-Atlantic based Adore the Gold had finished a well-beaten fifth in the Nashua (GIII), his only prior graded race, but had been working extremely well for trainer Michael Gorham in preparation for this. Adore the Gold broke alertly from post two, securing the rail under Corneilo Velasquez. Under pressure the entire time from Forefathers during a quick half-mile in :44.69 seconds, Adore the Gold refused to give up the lead, keeping Forefathers at bay to win by 3/4 of a length. Forefathers was 6 1/4 lengths in front of 3-2 favorite Cowtown Cat.
“We’ll stretch him out, but we just don’t know where or when yet,” Gorham said. “Cornelio got after him and straightened him out. We wanted to get out there and get a position, but he was so quick, he didn’t want to take him back. So he let him hold his spot.”
Adore the Gold paid $7.20, $3.80 and $2.60. Forefathers, who began his career at Lingfield in Great Britain, returned $4.40 and $2.60. Cowtown Cat paid $2.20 to show. Reata’s Rocket finished fourth. Gunfight, Storm Trust and First Cavalry rounded out the field.
Nobiz Like Shobiz is the first stakes winner for his sire Albert the Great. With the subject colt his top earner, Albert the Great finished 2006 ranked 13th on the second crop sire list. He currently stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Overall, he has two crops, with two Puerto Rican stakes winners, Albert the Gold (GII) and Prensa Hipica (GI), in addition to Nobiz Like Shobiz. By 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin, Albert the Great did not compete in the American Classic, but won over $3 million in just two seasons of racing. Among his 22 starts came victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI), Suburban Handicap (GII), Brooklyn Handicap (GII), Dwyer (GII) and Widener Handicap (GIII). In the latter race, he set a new track record at Hialeah of 1:45 2/5 for 1-1/8 miles. Overall, he won or placed in 17 of 21 career starts, including hold the distinction of defeat all three winners (Fusaichi Pegasus, Red Bullet, Commendable) of the 2000 Triple Crown events. In addition to a good deal of stamina, he ran the fastest 1 1/4 miles (1:59.24) by a 3-year-old in the history of New York racing.
Nobiz Like Shobiz is out of Nightstorm, also bred and raced by Valando. Nightstorm raced just six times, winning once. She has produced three runners, including Nobiz Like Shobiz, with him being her lone stakes horse to date. She is a daughter of leading sire Storm Cat, which makes Nobiz Like Shobiz inbred 5×4 to Northern Dancer. He also has the same cross to his fourth dam Swoon’s Tune, a half-sister to Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Court Recess, she also produced 1973 Kentucky Oaks winner Bag of Tunes and the multiple graded stakes winning filly Swingtime. Dosage Index: 1.44 –by Mark Hoard