Given what happened the last two days in New York and California, trainer Barclay Tagg has much to look forward to in 2007.
A little more than 24 hours after his Nobiz Like Shobiz possibly stamped himself the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby with an authoritative win in the Remsen at Aqueduct, Showing Up continued his grass roll with a decisive victory in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Proving a more than suitable replacement for Barbaro for owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables, Showing Up won for the fourth time in five starts on grass and picked up his second Grade I win of the year.
Purchased for $60,000 as a 2-year-old on the recommendation of Tagg, Showing Up has seven wins in nine races and has earned $1,610,500 after his 2 1/4 -length score.
Having demonstrated the ability to be placed wherever jockey Cornelio Velasquez wants him, Showing Up, the 4-5 favorite, was fifth for most of the 1 1/4 miles Sunday, then took over in the stretch and won in 1:59.35.
Showing Up certainly has not had to carry his track around with him. His win at Hollywood Park followed victories at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Colonial Downs, Arlington Park and Belmont Park.
"This colt never ceases to amaze me," said Tagg, who was joined in the winner's circle by the Jacksons and former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, a friend of Roy Jackson's since they were roommates at the University of Pennsylvania.
"He impresses me every time he runs. Fortunately, he seems to be getting better. I haven't seen any signs of wear. He was bucking and playing in the barn this morning. He just keeps showing up."
Obrigado, an 8-1 shot, finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Ivan Denisovich, the 5-1 third choice.
Later in the day, trainer Bobby Frankel continued his domination of the $500,000 Matriarch when Price Tag, part of an entry that was the 2-1 favorite, finished strongly to win the Grade I by half a length.
The victory was the seventh for Frankel in the Matriarch, tying him with the late Charlie Whittingham for most victories in the race, which was first run in 1981.
Frankel has won the last three races and five of the last seven.
Making her U.S. debut for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms after winning two of nine in France, Price Tag, a 3-year-old Dansili filly, ran the mile in 1:34.70 under jockey Edgar Prado.
Three Degrees, the 4-1 second choice, finished second and Pommes Frites was third.
"It feels good," said Frankel, referring to a seventh Matriarch success. "It actually feels better every year."