05/24/2012 3:57PM

Belmont notes: Street Game back in sweet spot in Sunday's Kingston

Barbara D. Livingston
Street Game, with Ryan Curatolo riding, wins the Hill Prince.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Street Game returns to his favorite turf course and drops back into New York-bred company when he runs in Sunday’s $125,000 Kingston Stakes scheduled for one mile over Belmont Park’s Widener turf course.

Street Game, last year’s champion 3-year-old New York-bred, won three races in six weeks at Belmont last spring, including a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Hill Prince. Before that, he had won two races against statebreds.

After suffering defeats in a pair of Grade 2 stakes during the summer, Street Game was put away for the remainder of his 3-year-old season by trainer Phil Serpe.

Street Game returned with a nose victory in a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream on Feb. 5 before running seventh in the Grade 3 Appleton, won by next-out stakes winner Corporate Jungle.

“I thought his first race was a really good race down at Gulfstream. He got up and won and he didn’t have the smoothest trip,” Serpe said. “We were a little disappointed in his next start.”

Serpe has really liked the way Street Game has been training since returning to Belmont Park.

“The horse likes a little give in the course. He likes the course up here, which is obviously deeper grass with more give than the turf at Gulfstream,” Serpe said.

Street Game will break from post 5 under Ramon Dominguez.

Among his opponents will be defending New York-bred turf champion Compliance Officer, who makes his 6-year-old debut in the Kingston.

Claimed for $25,000 a year ago by owner Thomas La Marca and trainer Bruce Brown, Compliance Officer won 6 of his last 7 starts in 2011 including the Claiming Crown Emerald at Fair Grounds last December. His lone loss was an 11th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Others entered include defending Kingston winner Pocket Cowboys, Writingonthewall, Lubash, Mr. Vegas, Abilio, and Minnie Punt.

Hessonite tops Mt. Vernon field

Hessonite, the champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly from 2011, returns to statebred competition in Sunday’s $125,000 Mt. Vernon, also at a mile.

Hessonite is 5 for 7 against New York-breds, including a victory in last October’s Ticonderoga Stakes here, in which she beat Gitchee Goomie, who figures to her chief rival in this spot.

In her 4-year-old debut, Hessonite finished last in the Grade 3 Beaugay, a race in which Gitchee Goomie finished second.

Hessonite will break from post 6 under Ramon Dominguez, while Gitchee Goomie will break from post 3 under Alan Garcia.

Also entered are Mystic City, Lisa Jean, Risky Rachel, Rogue’s Jewel, Dreaming of Cara and Frivolous Buck.

Agave Kiss aimed at Victory Ride

Agave Kiss, who ran her record to 6 for 6 with a convincing victory in the Miss Preakness Stakes on May 18, will be pointed to the Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes here on July 7, trainer Rudy Rodriguez said.

Agave Kiss won the Miss Preakness by 5 1/2 length and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106 for the effort.

Rodriguez said that Agave Kiss came out of the race so well that he had to gallop her on Thursday as opposed to jogging her an additional day.

“I wanted to jog her a couple more days, but she didn’t want to do it,” Rodriguez said. “It looked like she came back good.”

Rodriguez said he would run in the Victory Ride provided “they don’t put too much weight on me.”

Rodriguez’s primary goal is the Grade 1 Prioress at Saratoga on Aug. 4. He also would like to run in the Test, also at Saratoga three weeks later.

Four-bagger for trainer

It appears Rodriguez also came out of the Miss Preakness well as he won four races on Thursday’s card.

Rodriguez won the second with the debuting 2-year-old Mr Rodriguez ($4.90), the fourth with Diamond District ($6.10), the seventh with Silver Screamer ($5.80), and the eighth with Catalan ($9.90).

MSG-Plus to air NYRA stakes

MSG Networks will broadcast eight programs involving events at the New York Racing Association, it was announced by both organizations Thursday.

MSG-Plus will have live coverage of Monday’s Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, a race scheduled to feature five Grade 1 winners.

The network will air the Belmont Stakes draw live on June 3 at 11 a.m. and have a one-hour Belmont Stakes preview show on June 8 at 7:30 p.m.

MSG-Plus will also cover the Mother Goose from Belmont on June 23, the Diana and Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 28; the Whitney and Prioress from Saratoga on Aug. 4; two hours of the New York Showcase Day card from Belmont on Oct. 20, and the Cigar Mile from Aqueduct on Nov. 24.

Cauthen, Velasquez autograph session

The epic 1978 Triple Crown duel between Affirmed and Alydar will be remembered Saturday as the jockeys of both horses will hold an autograph session at 1 p.m.

Steve Cauthen, the rider of Affirmed and Jorge Velasquez, the jockey on Alydar, will sign special postcards commemorating the duel.

Autographs will cost $5 will all proceeds going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.