Lukas Taking Longshot Orientate to Classic

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has decided that Indiana Derby winner Orientate is fresh enough that he deserves a crack at the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

While the 3-year-old son of Mt. Livermore, out of Dream Team, will stretch out to 1 1/4 miles for the first time and face older horses, Lukas has no doubt the colt belongs in the World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

"He has such an efficiency of motion," he told the Daily Racing Form. "I don't have any question of him getting the distance."

And the competition, more seasoned graded stakes winners?

"He's fresh, he's good right now, and I think he deserves a chance," Lukas told the Racing Form. "It won't be the first time we're 30-1."

Lukas is the winningest trainer in Breeders' Cup history, and he has his own history of winning Breeders' Cup races with longshots. He won the 2000 Distaff (gr. I) with Spain who paid $113.80, and in 1999 won the Classic with Cat Thief who paid $41.20 and the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Cash Run who paid $67.

Orientate beat a field full of speed in near wire-to-wire fashion in the Indiana Derby. The race was his second start in stakes company and his first stakes win.

Bob and Beverly Lewis own the colt who they bought for $250,000 at the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale. Lukas was probably drawn to Orientate's dam, Dream Team, at the sale. She is a graded stakes winner who Lukas raced for the late Eugene Klein. A yearling half-brother to Orientate, by Mr. Greeley, sold at the recent Keeneland September yearling sale for $1.4 million to Narvick International.