07/31/2009 12:00AM

Fox likes his chances with Tizdejavu


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The timing is right. The fast-drying turf course at Monmouth Park is a plus. The Grade 3 stakes is the right competitive level.

From trainer Greg Fox's perspective, the elements align nicely for Tizdejavu in the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes on Sunday.

"This seemed like a perfect spot," Fox said.

The Oceanport is one of seven supporting stakes on the Haskell Day undercard. And it might be one of the toughest.

The scratch of Roman Tiger on Friday reduced the field to six for the 1 1/16-mile race, and all six are legitimate contenders.

Proudinsky, a career winner of $1.1 million, is the class of the field. The multiple graded stakes winner most recently finished third in the Monmouth Stakes behind Presious Passion, who came back to win the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes.

Get Serious has already captured a pair of overnight stakes at the meet. Kiss the Kid has won two Grade 3 stakes since last October. Radical Sabbatical is an improving colt for trainer Barclay Tagg, while Pleasant Strike owns a pair of seconds in two tries on the Monmouth course.

Fox, based in Kentucky, didn't land an easy spot for Tizdejavu's third start of the season.

Tizdejavu showed last year he can handle this level, reeling off three straight graded turf victories before settling for third in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.

That was his final race of the season. Tizdejavu suffered a non-displaced ankle fracture preparing for the Shadwell Turf Mile, requiring surgery.

The 4-year-old Tizdejavu won an allowance race in his return and followed up with a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap over a yielding course at Churchill Downs on July 4 with Jon Court aboard.

"It was one of those days when every element in the race went a little bit wrong," Fox said. "The turf course was pretty chewed up at the end of the meet, and it poured rain all day. It was horrible.

"We got a very wide trip around the first turn and then, for whatever reason, Jon moved going into the half-mile pole and started to circle the field."

The premature middle move wasn't a complete waste, as it tightened Tizdejavu for the Oceanport.

"I think he needed that race from a fitness point of view to get to this level," Fox said.

Joe Bravo picks up the mount.