12/20/2006 12:00AM

Tagg's two stars point for Gulf meet


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Most of the marquee names stabling in south Florida this winter will be housed at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach. But two of the biggest stars on the local scene, Showing Up and Nobiz Like Shobiz, will spend the next several months just two stalls apart in Barn 16 at Gulfstream Park, the winter home of trainer Barclay Tagg.

Showing Up began his career at Gulfstream last February and became not only one of the top members of this year's outstanding 3-year-old class but among the leading grass horses in the country and a contender for Eclipse Award honors in the turf division. A son of Strategic Mission, Showing Up won 7 of 9 starts in 2006, including a pair of Grade 1 turf stakes as well as the Grade 2 Lexington over the old Keeneland dirt track. His only two losses were a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a third in the Grade 1 Man o' War in his only try against older horses.

In addition, Showing Up's final time of 2:00.06 in winning the Grade 1 Secretariat was 1.29 seconds faster than the clocking The Tin Man posted capturing the Arlington Million going the same distance one hour earlier on Aug. 12. He also set two track records and established a stakes record winning the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby earlier this month.

"He had all sorts of problems as a 2-year-old, but coming to this track to train last winter turned him around and helped him to get over his growing pains," Tagg said while relaxing outside his barn after training hours on Wednesday. "At this time last year I didn't know what to expect. I knew he had talent but I didn't know how far he'd go. All things considered he had an outstanding year."

Tagg said Showing Up will be kept in light training for the time being. He said he probably won't begin Showing Up's campaign in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"There's really not much to run him in at Gulfstream other than the one Grade 1 race, and that's at a mile and three-eighths and I'd hate to start him out at that distance," Tagg said. "It's a long year and I'd really like to get a championship for him if I can. But you never know. We'll just see how things go."

Nobiz Like Shobiz comes to town as one of the most highly regarded members of his division after winning two of his first three starts and finishing a troubled second in the Grade 1 Champagne.

"He's training normally but won't work until around New Year's since he's not going to run until Feb. 3," said Tagg. "He'll probably be a little different as a 3-year-old than a 2-year-old and I'll have to get a line on him as we go along, but the plan at the moment is to get him started in the Holy Bull, run back four weeks later in the Fountain of Youth, and then give him five weeks to the Wood. The back-up plan would be to keep him here for the Florida Derby if the weather in New York became too harsh.

"I just think I'd prefer to have five weeks between the Fountain of Youth and his final Derby prep and then four weeks going into the Derby than the other way around. Although if I had to change up it probably wouldn't be that big a deal."

* Apprentice Jermaine Bridgmohan set a Tropical at Calder record with his 85th victory of the meet, winning aboard Island Miss in Wednesday's eighth race. Cornelio Velasquez, the regular rider for both Showing Up and Nobiz Like Shobiz, set the old mark of 84 in 2002-03.