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Street Game Controls Hill Prince

Sharp out of the gate and in control throughout, Street Game collected his first stakes victory Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park when he wired the field to post a mild upset in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince.

Although Humble and Hungry broke on top, Street Game came through swiftly to take the lead and guided the field through a quarter in 24.56 and an easy half-mile in 48.92. Opening up through the stretch despite rider Ryan Curatolo having lost his whip approaching the eighth pole, Street Game hit the wire 7 ¼-lengths in front of favored Air Support.

The winner was clocked in 1:36.38 for a mile over yielding turf.

"There didn't appear to be a whole lot of speed in there and he's got a pretty quick turn of foot and the fractions were kind, I thought," said Phil Serpe, who trains Street Game for Flying Zee Stables. "So, I think if it wasn't the plan [to go to the lead], it was close to the plan. We were either going to be right there or right off it. He's got the goods and I think he's the real deal. I think he showed today that he's got a lot of talent."

It was the third win in as many starts for the New York-bred son of Street Cry, who broke his maiden by 10 ¾ lengths when outfitted with blinkers for the first time on May 7 at Belmont Park, then returned two weeks later for an easy allowance score, both against fellow state-breds. The Hill Prince was Street Game's first foray into stakes company, and the victory was also the first stakes triumph for 19-year-old apprentice jockey Ryan Curatolo.

"He's unbelievable, this horse," said the French-born Curatolo. "There's been a lot of progression from the first time I rode him. I was hoping he'd win his first stakes, and that's good for the future of this horse. This is one of the best days of my life. I'm very glad to win for Flying Zee Stables."

Now 3-1-1 from six starts, Street Game earned $60,000 to nearly double his career bankroll to $122,742. The third-longest price on the board at 8-1, he returned $18.20 to his backers in the crowd of 7,819.

Serpe said he would speak to owner Carl Lizza, Jr. before deciding on the colt's next start, but mentioned the Grade 2, 1 ¼-mile Virginia Derby on July 16 at Colonial Downs as a possibility.

Air Support, who rallied from eighth to gain the place, was followed under the wire by Humble and Hungry, Longhunter, Casino Host, Fastest Magician, East of Danzig, Chinglish and Master Dunker.



 

 

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