Published in the Nov. 2 issue of The Blood-Horse
In the past two years, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Orientate has seen and done it all. He's raced at nine different tracks and shown versatility, but it seems sprinting is his niche. The 4-year-old began his career sprinting, then switched to route distances, then moved to the turf, and now he's back to sprinting. And that return to sprinting has given him five consecutive stakes wins and supplied his sire, Mt. Livermore, with his first Breeders' Cup winner in a decade. The NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) win also gave Lukas, who trained Mt. Livermore, as well as Dream Team, the dam of Orientate, his 17th Breeders' Cup victory. Both Mt. Livermore and Dream Team finished third in their respective Breeders' Cup races, the 1985 Sprint and the 1987 Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The only previous Breeders' Cup winner sired by Mt. Livermore was champion Eliza, winner of the 1992 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Mt. Livermore also is the sire of champion Housebuster, who finished ninth in the 1991 Sprint; Mt. Sassafras, who finished fourth in the 1996 Classic (gr. I); and Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys, who was sixth in the 1995 Classic. Orientate ran 12th in the 2001 Classic. Syndicated Mt. Livermore (Blushing Groom--Flama Ardiente, by Crimson Satan) stands at Graham J. Beck's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. His 2002 fee was $40,000. He is the sire of 59 added-money winners, including Multiple Choice, who won the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct the same day Orientate won the Sprint. Mt. Livermore's additional 2002 stakes winners are Equality (gr. III), Buenos Dias, Hoovergetthekeys, Jarf, Mountain Orchid, and Tucky's Girl. "Mt. Livermore is typical of the Blushing Groom line, medium-size sire, who produces high-quality runners," said Michael Hernon, director of sales at Gainesway Farm. "He is a very versatile sire. His runners can handle both the turf and dirt and Orientate is a prime example of the types of foals he sires. Orientate has won on the turf, won the Indiana Derby in front-running fashion, and has shown the ability to rate or be on the lead in his return to sprinting." On the track, Mt. Livermore won 11 of 30 career starts, including four in stakes company. His added-money wins came in the 1985 Fall Highweight (gr. II), Carter (gr. II), and Boojum (gr. III) Handicaps, and the Jaipur Stakes. He retired following the 1985 Sprint with career earnings of $610,644. Besides standing Mt. Livermore, Gainesway is also home to the grade I-winning Dream Team. When Eugene Klein, who campaigned Dream Team, dispersed his stable in 1989, Gainesway Farm, operating in its first year of ownership by Beck, purchased her in foal to Saratoga Six for $725,000. "It's a bit of a home team victory for Gainesway," said Hernon. "Standing the stallion and having the mare is special." Dream Team (Cox's Ridge--Likely Double, by Nodouble) was originally purchased on behalf of Klein by Lukas for $500,000 at the 1986 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of her breeder, Dr. Gary Lavin's Longfield Farm. Dream Team won three of six career starts, including the 1987 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) and the Anoakia Stakes (gr. III) as a juvenile. She made just one start at three before being retired. Hernon said the mating of Mt. Livermore and Dream Team came down to a decision of compatibility. "Dream Team is a typical Cox's Ridge mare, which makes her a large horse with a lot of substance. Mt. Livermore is rather compact. We were hoping to produce something of high quality," Hernon said. Orientate is the fifth foal and fifth winner out of Dream Team. She also produced Olympic Cat (by Storm Cat), who placed in the 1998 Fall Highweight Handicap. Dream Team has a 2-year-old Mr. Greeley colt, Johnny Red Kerr, who sold for $1.4-million to Narvick International at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale from the Gainesway consignment. Johnny Red Kerr is with trainer Laura de Seroux, who conditions 2002 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Azeri. Johnny Red Kerr has yet to start. The mare foaled a Thunder Gulch colt in February that Hernon said will likely sell as a yearling. Dream Team is carrying a Gone West foal on a late April cover. Breeding plans for 2003 are yet to be confirmed. Bob and Beverly Lewis purchased Orientate for $250,000 at the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale. Bred by Beck's Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Orientate was consigned by Gainesway, agent. Hernon said Orientate was a particularly well-made, athletic colt as a yearling. "He was a very good mover and had a nice head and eye to him as a yearling." Orientate is the first Breeders' Cup winner campaigned solely by the Lewises.