08/08/2002 11:00PM

Beau's Town tests Orientate

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Orientate will go off a deserving favorite in Sunday's $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga, but it is the talented and untested Beau's Town that could play the spoiler in the Grade 2 sprint.

Beau's Town, a son of Beau Genius, has six wins and two seconds from eight starts, but makes his graded stakes debut in the six-furlong Vanderbilt. He is making his first start for Lynn Whiting, who took over the training of the colt in the middle of July shortly after Robert Beck bought into the horse owned primarily by David Hulkewicz.

Beau's Town won a pair of minor stakes at Oaklawn Park and Lone Star before finishing second as the 2-5 favorite in the King's Court Stakes at Louisiana Downs on June 28. Whiting said that trainer Cole Norman felt he did too little with the horse leading into that race and may have run a short horse.

Whiting has worked Beau's Town only twice since his last race, but one was a six-furlong move in 1:10.20 over Saratoga's main track on July 31. Jockey Pat Day was aboard for the workout, which went in fractions of 21.80 and 44.80 seconds. Whiting said it was not the way he and Day planned it, but he believes the horse has had enough recovery time.

"I think Pat was disappointed that he allowed that to happen, as I was, but I gave him instructions, I pushed the button so I can't say too much," Whiting said.

Friday, Whiting let Beau's Town gallop strongly through the lane, timing his last three furlongs in 39 seconds.

"He did it nice and relaxed and was well off the fence," Whiting said. "I couldn't be happier with the way he's coming into it. It's a major step up. This horse is going to meet graded horses for the first time, but the horse is doing well. I think a fresh horse is something to be respected, they usually bring their race with them."

Orientate has brought his race with him to Churchill Downs and Calder, where he won the Grade 3 Aristides Handicap and the ungraded Smile Sprint Handicap in a span of two weeks. Though the Vanderbilt will be Orientate's third race in six weeks, Lukas said he has no concerns about a regression.

"None. He's doing great," Lukas said.

In the Smile, Orientate had to deal with some early pressure from Echo Eddie, who is back in this race. Texas Glitter and Run Kush Run are others who could test Orientate early.

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