Flying Zee Stables’ Street Game set an easy pace and never looked back, crushing a good field of 3-year-old turf milers in the $100,000 Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) June 18 at Belmont Park.
The son of Street Cry was making his stakes debut after a couple of impressive victories in May at Belmont. Sent off at 8-1 under Ryan Curatolo, he scored by 7 1/4 lengths in the Hill Prince while completing the one mile in 1:36.38 on a yielding turf course. Phillip Serpe is the winning trainer.
Street Game broke alertly from post 6 and was sent straight to the front. With Humble and Hungry pressing him, he set soft fractions of :24.56, :48.92, and 1:12.87, and turned for home with the lead.
Stakes winner Longhunter had the best chance at him when they straightened away, but once he hit the eighth-pole Street Game kicked into another gear and ran away from the field.
“He’s unbelievable, this horse," said Curatolo, who notched the first stakes win of his career. "There has 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. I’ll continue to work hard in the morning for myself, and we’ll see what happens."
Bred in New York by Nustar Breeding and out of the Thunder Puddles mare Thunder Achiever, the winner won for the third time in six starts. He broke his maiden 10 3/4 lengths May 7 going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont, then returned two weeks later to score an allowance contest at the same distance on a yielding course.
“There didn’t appear to be a whole lot of speed in there, and he has got a pretty quick turn of foot and the fractions were kind, I thought," Serpe said. "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. I’m not sure about his next start, I have to talk to Mr. Lizza (of Flying Zee Stables) but maybe the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT at Colonial Downs July 16). We’ll see.”
The chestnut colt has now earned $122,472. He paid $18.20, $7.90, and $5.30. The exacta (6-1) returned $84 and the trifecta (6-1-9) was worth $662.