02/08/2007 12:00AM

'Shobiz' likely to try Fountain of Youth


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Nobiz Like Shobiz has resumed training following his very professional victory in last Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, and trainer Barclay Tagg couldn't be any more pleased at the way his horse came out of the race.

"He just jogged on Wednesday and resumed galloping this morning," Tagg said, while poring through a sales catalog looking for his next potential Kentucky Derby winner on Thursday. "He looks great. Things couldn't have worked out any better for him Saturday. We were looking to win the race without putting him under too much pressure, and that's exactly the way things turned out.

"He got a 98 Beyer, which might have been less than some other 3-year-olds got on the same day but perfect for what we were looking for. In fact, my main goal is to make things as easy as I possibly can for him in all three of his preps before the Derby."

Tagg said it's still too early to make any definite decisions about Nobiz Like Shobiz's next start, but at the moment indicated he's pointing him for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth here on March 3.

"It's still hard to tell how much the first start took out of him - all horses are different and they've just got to tell you as they go along - but from what I can see right now the Fountain of Youth probably makes the most sense," said Tagg. "We're here and it still leaves me an opportunity to give him five weeks in between starts somewhere between now and the Derby."

Curlin runs big, changes hands

One of the 3-year-olds who posted a higher Beyer Speed Figure than Nobiz Like Shobiz last weekend was Curlin, who earned a 101 after posting an eye-catching 12o3/4-length victory making his career debut on the Donn undercard.

The performance caught the attention of high-profile owners from around the country, and by Thursday, Curlin was already on a van and headed for trainer Steve Asmussen's barn at Fair Grounds after the Midnight Cry Stable sold a majority interest in the horse to a partnership that included Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable, Satish Sanan's Padua Stable, and George Bolton. The price was undisclosed.

"A very important part of this deal was that we kept a piece of the horse," said Midnight Cry's owner, Bill Gallion, who also campaigns the Grade 1 winner Einstein.

The sale was a tough blow for up-and-coming trainer Helen Pitts, who prepared Curlin for his debut. Pitts also trains Einstein for Midnight Cry.

"He's a nice horse, but I've been in this business long enough to know anything can happen and I can't blame the owners for selling, given this kind of opportunity," Pitts said shortly after putting Curlin on the van for Louisiana on Thursday.

Pitts still has a promising 3-year-old left in her barn, For You Reppo, an impressive maiden winner going 1 1/8 miles here last Sunday.

"The longer the better as far as For You Reppo is concerned," said Pitts. "He's run two big races going a mile and one-eighth from bad post positions and he's still just figuring things out. I'll probably bring him back in an allowance race next time and not try to push him too fast. If we play it right and be patient, maybe he'll take us to the top."

Seaside Retreat back in training

Seaside Retreat, who finished 10th in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 here Thursday. It was his first local work this winter following a pair of breezes at the Ocala Training Center.

Seaside Retreat switched to the turf for the second half of his 3-year-old campaign, winning a stakes at Woodbine before finishing second behind Go Between in the Virginia Derby.

"He went really well this morning," said trainer Mark Casse. "I had to geld him during the fall, and it really seems to have helped him. He was always temperamental and tough to train. There were some days we couldn't get him to do anything at all."