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Thursday, February 01, 2007

All the Buzz on Nobiz

- Scat Daddy (Johannesburg) is in against Nobiz Like Shobiz (Albert the Great) in Saturday's Holy Bull, but you'd hardly know it given the attention that Tagg's colt is getting. I picked Scat Daddy to win the Juvenile; but when I saw him at 5-2 in the early betting, I dropped him faster than it took Joe Biden to screw up. He drifted up to the 7-2 second choice, got a little pinched back coming into the first turn, but had good position behind the leaders before trying to brush them three wide on the turn in what might have been a premature move by Johnny V. He tired in the stretch as Street Sense took the short way home. It wasn't a terrible effort, and Pletcher said he thought Scat Daddy did not perform at his best in the Breeders' Cup because he was coming back just three weeks after the Champagne. [DRF] I seem to remember some people wondering about that before the race, given how Pletcher had repeatedly expressed his preference for longer time off for his horses.

And it was a tough effort by Scat Daddy in that Champagne, sustaining a four wide move around the turn and wearing down Nobiz Like Shobiz in the end. The latter got all the hype for a slow start, but I've always thought that Scat Daddy was the better horse that day.

I have to admit that I retain just a little tiny speck of skepticism about Nobiz Like Shobiz. Maybe it's just my backlash against all the hype, particularly after the Champagne, for the reasons stated above. Here's his chance to prove me wrong, but at the one mile distance and given Pletcher's success off the layoff, especially at Gulfstream over the last couple of seasons, I'll cautiously pick Scat Daddy for the mild upset.

- Sam P. (Cat Thief) also comes off a layoff for Pletcher. He won his last in allowance company, and before that, ran a good second the stable's Any Given Saturday, who came back with his big second to Tiz Wonderful in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

Both he and Bold Start got a whole paragraph in Haskin's latest Derby column; the man must have a lot of time on his hands. He writes that the Ken McPeek trainee showed one of the quickest bursts of speed seen all year when he ran past Pletcher's Meritocracy winning an allowance here last month. I checked it out, and it was a powerful looking move. Don't know if he can handle these, but if you throw out his Polytrack record, he's been pretty consistent and on the improve. He's by the AP Indy sire Jump Start, out of the tough California campaigner Flying Paster.

And I'll also mention Drums of Thunder (Concerto), who won the What A Pleasure at Calder despite a horrible trip. Three times he tried to thread his way through from the back of the pack, only to drop back to last, the last time pinched back fairly sharply nearing the final turn. It's impressive to watch the way this horse accelerated out of the turn - he was in contention in a flash it seemed. No, it wasn't the fastest race, and here he cuts back to one turn after winning both his tries around two. He's most likely a cut below the top two, but I think he's worth following around two turns down the road.


Anonymous said...

I loved Nobiz' debut when I saw it in person, if he can get over his green tendencies he can really move forward and become a super horse.

Scat Daddy was way more professional last year and has a more precocious pedigree, so I feel his may not have the upside of Nobiz.

That said, Nobiz' post position will hurt big time at this trip, so there could be an upset in the making here if he has not gotten over being green.

A paddock and post parade viewing is a must.

Superfecta said...

Love the Biden quip. If he would just return to plagiarism he could avoid these little mis-steps.