02/17/2007 12:00AM

One work down, two to go

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The weather felt more like what trainer Barclay Tagg might expect back home in New York in mid-February rather than in south Florida. With the temperature in the low 40's, he sent out leading Kentucky Derby contender Nobiz Like Shobiz to work five furlongs in 1:00 under jockey Cornelio Velasquez here Saturday morning.

Nobiz Like Shobiz is pointing for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 3.

"The cold weather is no problem," said Tagg. "In fact I'm always happier when it's cool rather than hot. The key was getting this work in today after getting the rain earlier in the week. If I had to wait another day I probably would have had to think about skipping the Fountain of Youth and going to the Fair Grounds the following weekend for the Louisiana Derby."

Saturday's work was the first for Nobiz Like Shobiz since he kicked off his 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 3. It was also the first of three works that Tagg plans to give his colt before the Fountain of Youth.

"I'll probably have to push my final blowout back until two days before the race because we couldn't work Friday as originally scheduled, but he's doing good and has a race under his belt, so right now I'm still pointing for the Fountain of Youth," said Tagg. "If we get another glitch we'll go to New Orleans, although I'd rather stay here. It's a lot less stress on him to lead him over right out of his own stall than have to ship out of town."

Aside from several days of rain earlier this week, Tagg has been blessed with good weather here this winter to prepare Nobiz Like Shobiz for his run at the Derby.

"That's why we come down here," said Tagg. "It's been proven that you can get a horse ready for the Derby almost anywhere, but it's certainly a lot easier on a trainer's mind to get up in the morning knowing you've got decent weather almost every day."

Adore the Gold has four-furlong drill

Adore the Gold, who could challenge Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Fountain of Youth, waited until the temperature had climbed to near 50 before coming out after the second renovation break to work an easy half-mile in 50.80 seconds here Saturday. Trainer Mike Gorham said he plans to give Adore the Gold, the winner of the Grade 3 Swale Stakes, a more serious work next weekend before deciding whether to run him in the Fountain of Youth or the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson Stakes on March 3.

Zito sends out several at Palm Meadows

Trainer Nick Zito had a busy morning at Palm Meadows as many key members of his strong stable worked, including Forefathers, who breezed a half-mile in 51. Forefathers, second behind Adore the Gold in the Swale, is expected to return in the Hutcheson.

In contrast to Forefathers's slow half was the bullet 46-second drill turned in by his undefeated stablemate Silver Knockers. A four-length winner of an entry-level allowance dash here this month, Silver Knockers could start next in the seven-furlong Forward Gal on March 10.

* After getting off to a slow start at the meet, jockey Elvis Trujillo has been on a roll of late. He turned in a hat trick Thursday and posted a single victory on Friday. He began Saturday with a game decision aboard Rupert's Prospect for trainer Steve Dwoskin in the third race.