07/10/2008 11:00PM

Tizdejavu will try to do it again


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Go to the front, lead all the way, win a graded turf stakes. That's what Tizdejavu did in his last two starts, and on paper it will be Tizdejavu all over again in the American Derby on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Tizdejavu appears to be the controlling speed in an eight-horse edition of the American Derby, a Grade 2, $250,000 grass race for 3-year-olds that leads to the Grade 1 Secretariat here next month. Tizdejavu beat top 3-year-old turfer Sailor's Cap in the American Turf on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs, and cruised to a four-length win June 14 in the Jefferson Cup there. He stretches out to 1 3/16 miles, and will have to beat a pair of decent European invaders, Blue Exit and Great War Eagle.

The American Derby goes as race 10, is part of a $100,000-guaranteed late pick four, and is the last of three graded turf stakes on a 12-race program that's by far the best day of racing so far this Arlington meeting. The Arlington Handicap (race 6) lies outside the guaranteed pick four, but the Grade 3 Modesty (race 9) is part of it.

Tizdejavu showed promise at Turfway and Keeneland earlier this year, but blossomed upon a switch to grass racing in the American Turf. A 21-1 outsider there, he led all the way over a grass course that carried speed for two days.

"Any time a horse pays forty-something dollars to win, the public is going to be skeptical when he comes back," said trainer Greg Fox.

Not that skeptical. Tizdejavu was 3-1 in the Jefferson Cup, and was even more impressive, striding away to a seven-length advantage at the stretch call, and winning by four. Tizdejavu has won with his speed, but Fox doesn't think the horse is one-dimensional.

"I don't see him pulling hard, and the riders don't say he's not tractable," Fox said.

Rene Douglas rides Tizdejavu for the first time, and unless Sr. Henry or French invader Blue Exit are sent, Tizdejavu should be in front. A slow pace could hurt Prime Realestate, who finished well for a close second in the Arlington Classic.

"He's getting better and better," trainer Wayne Catalano said. "He's just learning to run."

Blue Exit has won a listed stakes in France and Great War Eagle a Group 3 in Ireland, but neither horse has been flattered by their competition.

Boss Lafitte won the USA Stakes two races ago, and clearly hated a boggy turf course June 21 at Colonial Downs.

Amazing Results steps up after a Polytrack win for llinois-breds, while Sr. Henry's ability has been masked by recent bad luck.