06/14/2007 11:00PM

'Shobiz' sheds blinkers for Dwyer


ELMONT, N.Y. - After a two-week hiatus, Wood Memorial winner Nobiz Like Shobiz returned to the work tab on Friday morning, breezing an easy five furlongs in 1:02.02 over Belmont Park's main track.

Nobiz Like Shobiz, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, is being pointed to the Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here on July 4.

Nobiz Like Shobiz showed three works from May 18 to Mayo31. Fearing his horse would come to hand too quickly, trainer Barclay Tagg skipped one workout, electing to gallop the colt strongly instead.

"I didn't want to peak him too soon, so I just gave him a good open gallop one week and came back with workouts today,'' Tagg said.

Nobiz Like Shobiz worked without blinkers, equipment Tagg had put on following his erratic run in the Fountain of Youth. Nobiz Like Shobiz raced wearing blinkers for the first time in the Wood Memorial, a race he won by one-half length over Sightseeing. Nobiz Like Shobiz also wore blinkers in the Derby.

"I'm not going to put them back on him,'' Tagg said.

On Friday, Belmont clockers caught Nobiz Like Shobiz in an opening quarter of 25.20 seconds, meaning he got his last three furlongs in 36.82. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.

"He went easy enough,'' said Tagg, who actually caught Nobiz Like Shobiz in 1:01.40.

Nobiz Like Shobiz would probably have time for at least two more works before the Dwyer, where he is expected to meet Sightseeing again.

Dry Martini now with Tagg

Tagg has taken over the training of Dry Martini, a 4-year-old son of Slew Gin Fizz who won the Memorial Day Handicap at Calder in his last start. Owners George and Carol Nyren moved the horse from Calder-based Harry Benson to Tagg.

Dry Martini has won 5 of 13 starts and banked $259,495. Tagg said he is pointing Dry Martini to the Grade 3, $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows on June 30.

"If they can win the Cornhusker, then they'd like to go in one of the Grade 1's in Saratoga,'' said Tagg, referring to the Whitney on July 28 or the Woodward on Sept. 1.

On Thursday, Dry Martini worked a bullet four furlongs in 47.73 seconds over the Belmont main track.

Tagg said that Bit of Whimsy, who dead-heated for the win with Rutherienne in the Grade 3 Sands Point on June 2, will make her next start in the $200,000 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs on July 21.

Mathematician seeks Notoriety

Mathematician was good enough to place in a couple of group races in France two years ago. Away from the races the last 20 months, Mathematician makes his North American debut in Sunday's $65,000 Notoriety Stakes at seven furlongs on the turf.

Mathematician is a 5-year-old son of Machiavellian out of the dam Zibilene, who is a half-sister to the 1994 Breeders' Cup Mile winner Barathea.

Mathematician goes out for Godolphin Racing, which is 4 for 7 so far this meet.

"He's trained like a pretty good horse,'' said Godolphin assistant trainer Rick Mettee. "Garrett [Gomez] breezed him the other day, and he looks like a horse that's pretty fit. He was a pretty good miler for [Andre] Fabre, and he strikes me as the kind of horse that's going to fire a pretty good shot off the bench.''

The Notoriety drew a solid field of 11, including Sabre Baby, Defer, Metro Meteor, Rock Lobster, Museeb, and Gimme Credit.

Afrashad working his way back

The Godolphin-owned Afrashad, winner of last year's Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct, is training toward a comeback from knee surgery, Mettee said. On June 8, Afrashad breezed four furlongs in 48oseconds over the Polytrack at Keeneland, his third breeze of the year.

"We thought the Polytrack might be a little easier on him,'' Mettee said. "If he continues to work well he could be on his way back here.''

Afrashad would be a welcome addition to Mettee's barn, considering that injuries have befallen some of his other talented sprinters. Utopia, who won the Westchester, and Council Member, an allowance winner who finished fourth in the True North, have both shed frogs, the bottom of the foot which acts like a shock absorber. Both are out indefinitely.

Songster, who won the Bold Ruler, remains on track for the Tom Fool on July 4.

Rodriguez could miss two months

Jockey Rudy Rodriguez could be out of action for two months after sustaining damage to his right hand in an accident here June 1.

According to Jose Henriquez, Rodriguez's agent, Rodriguez suffered damaged tissue in his right hand when he fell off Tony Lantana while galloping him back to be unsaddled after finishing eighth in the last race on June 1.

Henriquez, who also represents apprentice Jose Bracetty, has picked up journeyman rider Jean-Luc Samyn.

Sugar Swirl takes Alyssum

Sugar Swirl ($6.40) won an early pace duel with favored Yachats, then was able to hold off a late run from Veneti to win Friday's $64,950 Alyssum Stakes by a neck. It was 7o1/4 lengths back to Last Romance.

Sugar Swirl, a daughter of Touch Gold owned by Frank Stronach and trained by Bobby Frankel, covered 6o1/2 furlongs in 1:15.73.

* Alan Garcia received a three-day suspension for careless riding as a result of an incident that occurred in Wednesday's ninth race. Garcia will serve his days next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

* Apprentice rider Jesus Ponce dropped his appeal of a careless-riding suspension and will serve seven days, beginning Sunday.