08/04/2007 12:00AM

Nobiz Like Shobiz makes grass debut


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Last year, trainer Barclay Tagg turned the dirt graded-stakes-winner Showing Up into one of the nation's premier turf horses. Tagg hopes he can produce a sequel when he runs Nobiz Like Shobiz on turf for the first time in Monday's $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.

Nobiz Like Shobiz, a 3-year-old son of Albert the Great, won the Grade 2 Remsen at age 2 and at 3 has won the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Wood Memorial. After running 10th in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Dwyer, Nobiz Like Shobiz began training on grass last month.

"He was starting to run down on the dirt, skimming his heels a little bit," said Tagg, who trains Nobiz Like Shobiz for Elizabeth Valando. "We switched him to the turf. We worked him a couple of times, he didn't hit himself at all, and we thought it might be better for him. He breezes very nicely on it, and he doesn't run down."

Nobiz Like Shobiz shows three breezes on the turf including a bullet five-furlong move in 58.80 seconds July 23 on a extremely firm Oklahoma turf course.

"You can hope for it all and they look like they're doing a great job in the morning and all that, but you never know till you run them what they're going to do," said Tagg, whose horse will break from the outside post in the six-horse field under Cornelio Velasquez and 115 pounds.

Marcavelly, winner of three stakes, including the Grade 3 Hill Prince on June 8, is the horse to beat in the 1o1/8-mile turf race. Marcavelly is trained by Bill Mott, who is somewhat leery of his horse's ability to get nine furlongs.

"Distance is a question," said Mott, who has won this race five times. "I'm not overly confident. It's not a done deal. He's got a big kick, but when you go further sometimes they don't have the same kick."

Marcavelly, the 122-pound highweight under Edgar Prado, breaks from the rail.

Distorted Reality finished second to Marcavelly in the Hill Prince but came back to win the Lexington Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. Trainer Todd Pletcher took the blinkers off Distorted Reality for that race and got the desired result.

"I don't think it made a huge difference, but I do think it helped a little bit just to get him to settle,'' Pletcher said.

Sahara Heat, Jazz Quest, and Ambassador complete the field.