08/14/2012 1:26PM

Saratoga: New York-bred champions Street Game and Compliance Officer meet again in West Point

Barbara D. Livingston
Compliance Officer is the 123-pound highweight and will concede five pounds to Street Game in the 1 1/16-mile West Point.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For the second time this year, New York-bred champions Compliance Officer and Street Game meet when they head an eight-horse field set to run in Thursday’s $100,000 West Point Stakes at Saratoga.

Compliance Officer was the New York-bred champion male turf horse of 2011 by virtue of his winning 6 of 8 starts, including three stakes restricted to statebreds. Street Game was the New York-bred 3-year-old champion male in 2011 based on 3 wins from 7 starts, including a victory in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont.

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Street Game’s 3-year-old season came to an end after he emerged from a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes here last year with a foot injury.

Street Game, owned by Flying Zee Stables and trained by Phil Serpe, has 2 wins from 4 starts this year, both coming in open-company allowance races.

Street Game finished third to Compliance Officer in the Kingston Stakes on May 27, a race where Ramon Dominguez was riding the colt for the first time. Dominguez allowed Javier Castellano and Compliance Officer to get first run on him and then couldn’t overcome some traffic while finishing third.

“I think Ramon has a better idea about riding Street Game than he did the first time he rode him,” Serpe said. “He was pretty far back that day, further than I think he needed to be, but I think we got that sorted out the next time he rode him.”

In a July 5 allowance race, Dominguez kept Street Game closer to a slow pace, guided him to the inside, then held off a late run from Crimson China. Tune Me In, the seventh-place finisher from that race, came back to win the Grade 3 Oceanport at odds of 25-1 at Monmouth on July 29.

Compliance Officer has won all six of his starts against New York-breds – including this race last year – since being claimed by Thomas La Marca and trainer Bruce Brown in May 2011.

After winning the Kingston, Compliance Officer faced open company in the Grade 3 Poker on July 4, where he finished second to Clear Attempt.

“He moved right with the winner and just couldn’t get by that horse,” Brown said.

Compliance Officer is 2 for 3 in his career at Saratoga and has seemed to thrive here this summer, according to Brown.

“He loves it up here, like most horses do,” Brown said. “It’s been a bit of time between races. The hardest thing is just keeping him peaking, keeping him good. He’s been breezing on the grass up here with Javier, and he’s been doing really well. He should run his race.”

Compliance Officer is the 123-pound highweight and will concede five pounds to Street Game in the 1 1/16-mile West Point.

Lubash was a good second to Compliance Officer in the Kingston and comes in off a 1 3/4-length loss to Get Serious in the Grade 3 Red Bank.

There appears to be plenty of speed in the field, with Abilio, Writingonthewall, and Johannesburg Smile showing an affinity for the front end. A hot pace would set things up for the improving Majestic Raffy, who figures to be a big price in this spot.