06/18/2011 6:12PM

Belmont Park: Street Game romps in Hill Prince Stakes

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Street Game scores a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – There is good news for horsemen with New York-breds competing in the 3-year-old turf division. You won’t have to see Street Game again anytime soon.

Street Game, a New York-bred son of Street Cry, passed his open-company stakes audition with flying colors Saturday at Belmont Park, assuming the lead soon after the start and taking the field all the way en route to a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes.

Air Support, the 5-2 favorite, rallied from eighth in the nine-horse field to be second, by a half-length over Humble and Hungry. He was followed in the order of finish by Longhunter, Casino Host, Fastest Magician, East of Danzig, Chinglish, and Master Dunker.

The win was the third straight for Street Game, but it was his first outside of statebred competition.

“It was huge,” said Phil Serpe, who trains Street Game for Carl Lizza’s Flying Zee Stable. “This was a good bunch of horses to see what was what. To win like that was impressive today. I can’t possibly be happier for the Lizzas. They put so much time and money into this game.”

Back in the winter, Lizza signed apprentice Ryan Curatolo to a contract to be the stable rider, and that includes stakes races where he doesn’t get the five-pound weight allowance. It was the first stakes win for Curatolo, a 19-year-old native of France.

“Today is the happiest day of my life,” said Curatolo, who won despite losing his whip in upper stretch. “I’m very glad to win for Flying Zee Stable; it’s my stable.”

In a race without much speed, Curatolo took advantage and put Street Game on the lead through a quarter-mile in 24.56 seconds, a half-mile in 48.92, and six furlongs in 1:12.87. Though confronted by Humble and Hungry midway around the far turn, Street Game opened up again turning for home and won handily, despite Curatolo losing his whip just outside the eighth pole.

“At the quarter pole when he changed leads, he started to back up, but I know this horse and he has to go in a progression, not slow to fast,” Curatolo said. “So I go in a progression, he go and go and go, and that was great.”

Street Game covered the mile in 1:36.38 over yielding turf and returned $18.20 as the seventh choice in the field.

Serpe said that he would look at running Street Game next in the Grade 2, $600,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on July 16.