08/30/2012 3:53PM

Saratoga: Serpe puts up strong numbers

Barbara D. Livingston
Weekend Hideaway wins the David Stakes by more than six lengths on Wednesday at Saratoga.

Trainer Phil Serpe expected Weekend Hideaway to run well in Wednesday’s David Stakes for 2-year-old New York-breds. What he didn’t expect was to see the son of Speightstown run six furlongs in 1:09 and change and dominate the race by more than a half-dozen lengths. But that’s the way this summer has gone for Serpe, who has sent out seven winners from just 27 starters, equaling his total for 2011 with several days still left in the meet.

Weekend Hideaway has started three times during the current session and gotten better with each successive outing, winning his last two starts by a combined 13 lengths after getting beat a length in his debut July 23. His performance in the David earned Weekend Hideaway a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

“Winning the race is one thing, but when I saw he ran in 9 and 4, it was impressive,” Serpe said. “We didn’t expect anything like that. We were just happy to win.”

Serpe said Weekend Hideaway holds a little special place for him, since he was bred by his late owner Carl Lizza.

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“I was involved in breeding the colt with Mr. Lizza, so that’s rewarding to us, too,” Serpe said. “We had Mrs. Lizza there in the winner’s circle, she’s still part of all this. I might look for an open race to test the waters with him when we get back downstate, see what happens when we get out of the statebred pool.”

As for the meet itself, Serpe says it takes a combination of good horses and good fortune to do well at Saratoga.

“We’re been fortunate,” Serpe said. “We’ve had some things go our way. This place will kill you, it’s so tough up here, and we’re thankful the horses have run well for us. We’re very happy with how things have gone, especially since we’re still rebuilding since the loss of Mr. Lizza.”

Serpe’s seven winners did not include a contribution from the best horse in his barn, Grade 3 winner Street Game, who finished a tiring fifth after contesting the pace in his lone local appearance in the West Point.

“That was the one thing where you might say things didn’t go our way, because I’m stumped at the way Street Game ran,” Serpe said. “He worked 58 and change around the dogs like nothing. I couldn’t find a darn thing wrong with him, but sometimes these things happen up here. He’s pretty fond of Belmont, so we’ll head back there for a New York-bred race on opening weekend.”