08/05/2011 2:48PM

Saratoga: Street Game works well for Hall of Fame

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Barbara D. Livingston
Street Game, winning the Hill Prince in June, worked five furlongs in preparation for next week's National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − Trainer Phil Serpe has made more visits to Saratoga Hospital than he has to the winner’s circle this meet.

The day before the meet started, Serpe suffered a cracked rib in a minor motor vehicle accident. On July 29, he needed five stitches after getting kicked on the top of his head by a horse who had gotten injured − and ultimately had to be euthanized − while training.

On Friday, Serpe finally had reason to smile after watching his top 3-year-old New York-bred turf horse, Street Game, breeze a solid five furlongs in preparation for next Friday’s Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.

With exercise rider Lisa Bartkowksi in the irons, Street Game worked five furlongs in 1:01.02, getting his last three furlongs in 36.39 seconds. Street Game pulled away from his workmate, Shootmetothemoon, in the stretch. Shootmetothemoon, a maiden, was credited with a time of 1:02.72.

“I thought he went great,” Serpe said. “Looked good, not a lot of effort. I just want to try to keep him fresh.”

Street Game, who won Grade 3 Hill Prince by 7 1/4 lengths at Belmont in June, is coming off a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Virginia Derby, run at 1 1/4 miles at Colonial Downs on July 16. Serpe said that with the shipping and the hot weather, Street Game came out of that race having lost considerable weight.

“It just took its toll weight-wise,” said Serpe, who is cutting the horse back in distance from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/16 miles in the Hall of Fame. “I think he’s put almost all of it back on. He’s eating good, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Serpe, who is 1 for 11 at the meet, said he also was happy to go a week without having to go to the hospital. The day before the meet started, Serpe was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in a cracked rib. On July 29, Serpe got kicked when attending to a horse that had gotten injured _ and ultimately had to be euthanized _ while training.

“I have my own room there, room 30,” Serpe quipped. “I was there three times in seven days.”

Others pointing to the Hall of Fame Stakes include Big Blue Kitten, Humble and Hungry, Newsday, Perregaux, and possibly Rustler Hustler.