03/21/2007 12:00AM

Greeley's Legacy flashes old promise


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A year ago, trainer George Weaver was on the Kentucky Derby trail with Greeley's Legacy. They never made the Derby, but Greeley's Legacy did finish a distant fifth behind Bernardini in the Preakness before going to the sidelines for an extended vacation. Now Greeley's Legacy, a son of Mr. Greeley, appears ready to return to stakes competition following his impressive second-level allowance victory going 1 1/8 miles here on Monday.

"Originally I wasn't planning on running him in the allowance race," explained Weaver, who trains Greeley's Legacy for owner Donald Flanagan. "I was looking at either the Skip Away here on Florida Derby Day or the Excelsior. But it was coming up a short field, and he was feeling so good the morning entries were taken I couldn't leave him in the barn."

Greeley's Legacy earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 93 for his 4o1/2-length victory on Monday. That was 3 points lower than the figure he received when he ran second behind trainer Allen Jerkens's improving Political Force under similar conditions on Feb. 28. Greeley's Legacy's career-best figure was a 103 for his fourth-place finish in the 2006 Gotham.

"He had no specific injuries, nothing major, after the Preakness," said Weaver. "He had a few little things and was tailing off, so I thought some time off was in order."

Weaver has nominated Greeley's Legacy for the Grade 3 Skip Away here on March 31 but said he is not likely to come back that quick.

"It would be short notice to bring him back either in the Skip Away or Excelsior," said Weaver. "One option might be the Ben Ali at Keeneland. That would give him plenty of time coming off this race."

The Grade 3 Ben Ali will be decided at 1 1/8 miles on April 26.

'Shobiz' works in star company

Nobiz Like Shobiz had some famous company for his work here Tuesday morning when he was joined by 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide for a five-furlong drill. Both horses were credited with the same clocking of 59.80 seconds going from the half-mile to the mile pole, although Nobiz Like Shobiz edged clear of Funny Cide at the end of the work.

"I wanted him to work around both turns, and I wanted him go in company, and there really wasn't anybody I could send with him other than Funny Cide," Tagg said. "I knew Funny Cide would get a little tired at the end, and the good thing was that Nobiz didn't lug over on him as he went by."

Although Nobiz Like Shobiz will still be on the grounds on Florida Derby Day, he is scheduled to make his next start one week later in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

Even without Nobiz Like Shobiz, a field of 10 is expected for the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby. The list of prospective starters is led by Scat Daddy and Stormello , the first- and second-place finishers in the Fountain of Youth. Adore the Gold, Hal's My Hope, and Johannesburg Star, who were fourth, fifth, and ninth in the Fountain of Youth, are also expected to return. The remainder of the lineup is likely to include California invader Notional, Imawildandcrazyguy, Chelokee, Bold Start, and Boogie Boggs.

Better Talk Now working for '07 debut

Better Talk Now continues to get closer to his 2007 debut. The winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf and runner-up in the same race last year, Better Talk Now worked five furlongs in 1:07 over the turf at Palm Meadows on Wednesday for trainer Graham Motion. It was his fourth work this winter and first at five furlongs.

Now 8, Better Talk Now may again launch his 2007 campaign in the same spot he began each of the last two seasons, Pimlico's Grade 2 Dixie Handicap.

* Although there will be no 2-year-old racing here during the 2007 meet, juveniles were cleared to begin training on the main track here earlier this week. Any 2-year-old who does train must do so after 9:30 a.m.