08/13/2013 1:32PM

Saratoga: Lubash, Street Game clash in West Point

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Lubash wins the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes in May at Belmont Park.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With King Kreesa having moved on to bigger and better things, the remainder of the New York-bred male turf division’s elite is set to meet Thursday in the $150,000 West Point Stakes at Saratoga.

Led by defending West Point winner Lubash, 10 New York-breds – not including four main-track-only entrants – were entered for the West Point, carded for 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course.

In May, Lubash, trained by Christophe Clement, won the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont, beating King Kreesa, who came back to beat Lubash in the Kingston and Grade 3 Poker. Last Saturday, King Kreesa gave reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan a test before succumbing to him late while finishing second in the Grade 2 Fourstardave.

Though he finished fifth in the Poker, Lubash earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure, which equaled his career high achieved in the Fort Marcy.

“I don’t think he ran a bad race,” Clement said. “If you believe in numbers, he ran the same race more or less in every single start this year.”

Clement said Lubash came out of the Poker with some foot issues that he tends to get at Belmont Park.

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“He gets a little sore in his feet when he’s at Belmont Park,” Clement said. “He’s been training pretty well lately.”
Jose Lezcano will ride Lubash from post 2.

Street Game beat Lubash by 2 3/4 lengths in the Dave Stakes at Aqueduct in April. After finishing fourth in the Kingston, Street Game shipped to Monmouth and set very fast fractions before tiring to finish fourth in the Elkwood Stakes.

“His last race at Monmouth, he went a suicidal half-mile,” trainer Phil Serpe said. “The rider was off key with what I wanted. It was suicidal to do that; that’s behind us.”

Street Game’s five-furlong workout in 58.90 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course on Aug. 5 was impressive to Serpe.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him work that good,” Serpe said.

Street Game has done his best running on less-than-firm turf, so the heavy rain that fell here Tuesday was a positive sign for Serpe.

“Some give in the turf would be our biggest asset,” he said.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

Hangover Kid drops into New York-bred company for the first time since last September’s Ashley T. Cole. In his most recent start, Hangover Kid finished third in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth.

“It was a good race,” trainer Jason Servis said. “He doesn’t always win, but he always tries.”

Kharafa has finished first or second in his past six starts, all for trainer Tim Hills. He was second, with trouble, behind King Kreesa in the Kingston before winning an open company first-level allowance race on July 12. He will need to work out a trip breaking from post 10 under Rajiv Maragh.

Completing the field are Mr. Vegas, Jonrah, Barrel of Love, Hear the Footsteps, Abilio, and Mia Poppy.