The familiar colors of Bob and Beverly Lewis visited the Keeneland winner's circle following consecutive races Sunday, with trainer D. Wayne Lukas there to greet the winning horse on both occasions, most notably following Orientate's victory in the $272,000 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Orientate outsprinted D'wildcat to claim the early lead on the sloppy track, then held off the late charge of favored Aldebaran to notch the 1 1/4-length win. He completed the seven furlongs in 1:21.54 under Pat Day. Aldebaran finished second, followed by Twilight Road, D'wildcat, Binthebest, Red's Honor, and Dancing Missile.
"He was on cruise control most of the way," said Day. "He's like a little Quarterhorse leaving there. We both heard the other horse coming down the lane but there was plenty left in the tank."
One race before, Unbridled Time earned the Lewises, Lukas, and jockey Jorge Chavez a win in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance contested on a course listed as good.
Orientate, last year's Indiana Derby winner, raced in a pair of main track two turn stakes following his most recent win, a two-length victory in the Sir Beaufort Stakes on Santa Anita's turf course in December. The versatile son of Mt. Livermore hadn't raced in a sprint since finishing seventh in the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last August. The Commonwealth marks his first graded stakes win. Orientate earned $$168,640 for the win, his fifth in 12 career starts.
Orientate paid $7.20, $3.20, and $2.80 for the win. Aldebaran returned $2.80 and $2.60 and completed the $21.60 exacta. Twilight Road paid $3.80 to show.
Orientate was bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds and purchased for $250,000 at the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale. He was produced from Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) winner Dream Team (by Cox's Ridge). (Chart, Equibase