08/05/2007 11:00PM

Nobiz Like Shobiz connects in Hall of Fame


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The omens were all there. On a day when Jose Santos, who was the regular rider for Funny Cide and Fly So Free, went into the Hall of Fame, people associated with those top horses combined to win the Grade 2, $158,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds on Monday at Saratoga.

Barclay Tagg, who trained Funny Cide, and Elizabeth Valando, who owned Fly So Free with her late husband, Tommy, wound up in the winner's circle with their colt Nobiz Like Shobiz, who made a successful switch to turf by holding off an unlucky Marcavelly to win the 1 1/8-mile grass race by a half-length.

Distorted Reality was another neck back in third and was followed, in order, by Ambassador, Jazz Quest, and pacesetting Sahara Heat, who had a rein break going into the first turn.

Nobiz Like Shobiz ($5.20) was sent off a slight favorite, even though he was moving to the turf after an accomplished career on dirt. He won the Wood Memorial earlier this year, and most recently was second to Any Given Saturday - who won the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Sunday- in the Dwyer Stakes.

Under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Nobiz Like Shobiz stalked from the three path on both turns before surging to the lead with a furlong remaining. Marcavally, caught in traffic at the top of the stretch, had to await room, then finished quickly despite bobbling badly with 50 yards to go.

Nobiz Like Shobiz was timed in 1:49.29 on a course rated firm despite rain that fell overnight and intermittently through the day.

Nobiz Like Shobiz, a colt by Albert the Great, has now won 5 times in 9 starts.

"He had trained very well on turf," Tagg said. "He was just getting run down a little on dirt."

Earlier in the day, Featherbed ($5.90) scored a front-running win in the $82,750 Weekend Surprise Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. She covered six furlongs in 1:10.76. John Velazquez rode the winner for trainer Todd Pletcher.