10/17/2006 11:00PM

Nobiz Like Shobiz to skip Juvenile


Nobiz Like Shobiz ran too good to lose when he finished second in the Champagne Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park, but the demands of that race, coming just three weeks in front of the Breeders' Cup, helped trainer Barclay Tagg decide on Wednesday to pass on the $2 million Juvenile at Churchill Downs with the lightly raced colt.

"He's not mature enough to run back in three weeks," Tagg said at Belmont Park. "If it was five weeks, I might take a shot."

Instead, Tagg said, Nobiz Like Shobiz will await the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 25 for his third lifetime start. Nobiz Like Shobiz won his debut on Sept. 9, then stepped straight into the Champagne.

The defection of Nobiz Like Shobiz removes one of the leading contenders from the Nov. 4 Juvenile. But as far as trainer Todd Pletcher is concerned, it does not remove the best horse exiting the Champagne.

Pletcher is puzzled by the fallout of that race. His colt, Scat Daddy, won. Yet Nobiz Like Shobiz has received more attention. While not denying that Nobiz Like Shobiz is a good horse, Pletcher believes the lack of appreciation for Scat Daddy - who has three wins in four starts and is a leading contender for the division's Eclipse Award - does not add up.

"I thought Scat Daddy ran a very impressive race," Pletcher said. "To me, he had every bit as tough a trip as anyone in the race. He got roughed up at the start, had to go wide when Nobiz Like Shobiz got through inside, and was finishing faster than anyone at the end of the race. I don't buy the concept that the best horse didn't win."

In addition to Scat Daddy, Pletcher will send out Circular Quay and King of the Roxy in the Juvenile. All three colts will train at Belmont Park until leaving for Kentucky on Nov. 1. John Velazquez will stick with Scat Daddy, Garrett Gomez retains the mount on Circular Quay, and Edgar Prado will ride King of the Roxy, Pletcher said.

Three other Champagne runners - Pegasus Wind (third), My Golden Opinion (fourth), and Got the Last Laugh (fifth) - are all expected come back in the Juvenile, their trainers said.

Pegasus Wind finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Scat Daddy. He is based at Churchill Downs, which trainer D. Wayne Lukas believes will give him the home-field advantage.

"I thought he ran a hell of a race," Lukas said of the Champagne. "He had only been on that track one day, just to jog, because his flight was postponed by a day. The others had been training on the track. I feel real good about our position. I don't think you'll see the best from him until he goes two turns."

Green Vegas, who won last Saturday's In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, will not run in the Breeders' Cup, trainer Luis Olivares said.

Pre-entries are due Monday, and will be announced Wednesday. Those expected to be pre-entered are Circular Quay, C P West, Got the Last Laugh, Great Hunter, King of the Roxy, My Golden Opinion, Pegasus Wind, Principle Secret, Scat Daddy, Stormello, Street Sense, U D Ghetto, and possibly Skip Code.

- additional reporting by David Grening