07/31/2007 12:00AM

Haskell undercard strong, too


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The $1 million Haskell Invitational for 3-year-olds on Sunday tops the biggest day of racing this summer at Monmouth Park.

Haskell Day annually draws the biggest crowd of the year, and a solid supporting stakes lineup offers fans an array of interesting handicapping puzzles.

In addition to the Grade 1 Haskell, the card includes a pair of Grade 3, $150,000 turf stakes: the Oceanport for 3-year-olds and up, and the Matchmaker for fillies and mares.

There are also four $100,000 stakes: the Teddy Drone for sprinters, the Jersey Derby for 3-year-olds on the turf, and two races for fillies and mares - the Regret for sprinters and the Lady's Secret for dirt routers.

The eighth stakes is the $65,000 Lincroft Handicap for New Jersey-breds.

Amy Tarrant will send out Kiss the Kid in the Oceanport in search of her first graded win as a trainer.

Kiss the Kid's last graded effort was an ambitious bid: the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes undercard. After running with the leaders in the early stages, Kiss the Kid faded to seventh.

Back home at Monmouth, the colt bounced back most recently to win an off-the-turf allowance on July 5.

"There have been no glitches in his training," Tarrant said. "Right now, we're looking forward to the Oceanport. He's doing beautifully. We won't even breeze him this week."

Stakes coordinator Mike Melendez listed several others as likely for the 1 1/16-mile Oceanport: Giant Wrecker, Green Lemon, Victory Alleged, and Presious Passion.

The six-furlong Teddy Drone could be the next spot for the speedy Fabulous Strike.

Trainer Todd Beattie is debating whether to run him in this race or the $125,000 Harvey Arneault Memorial a day earlier at Mountaineer Race Track.

"Mountaineer is worth a little more money, but Monmouth is where they'll run the Breeders' Cup this year so we're interested in giving him a trip over the track," Beattie said. "The Breeders' Cup is in the back of our minds, as long as he rebounds in the next start or two."

Wherever he runs this weekend, Fabulous Strike will be making his first start since a fifth-place finish at 3-2 in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder's Summit of Speed on July 7.

"He had the thumps, a version of a heat stroke," Beattie said. "He was in pretty bad shape right after the race. The heat got to him and he didn't adjust well.

"He recovered fast and he's doing very well. He went right back to training good after that race."

Other probably Teddy Drone runners include the talented New Jersey-bred Joey P. and Who's the Cowboy.

Tiger Woodman in softer spot

Tiger Woodman could find the grass a little greener and the competition a shade easier Thursday at Monmouth in the $40,000 second-level allowance feature at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Trained by Tim Hills, Tiger Woodman earned a third and a fourth at Belmont Park in his last two races. Tiger Woodman posted solid Beyer Speed Figures of 87 and 88 in the Belmont races. Rajiv Maragh, riding very well lately, gets the mount.

Jimmy Jerkens and Kiaran McLaughlin, two New York-based trainers, send out strong contenders in the race.

Tricky Causeway, trained by Jerkens, is a front-runner. He ran third at Belmont in his last two races. Eddie Castro will ride.

Casey's Joy scored a pacesetting victory at a mile here on May 28 for McLaughlin. He most recently shortened up to six furlongs at Belmont, finishing fifth. He will be ridden by Joe Bravo, the meet's leading jockey.