10/08/2004 11:00PM

Consolidator suprises in Futurity

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Consolidator, Rafael Bejarano up, draws off to a two-length win in the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - One of racing's enduring personalities, D. Wayne Lukas, teamed with one of its rising stars, Rafael Bejarano, to pull a mild upset Saturday in the $500,000 at Keeneland, where Consolidator drew clear for a two-length triumph in the 91st running of the Grade 1 race for 2-year-olds.

Consolidator, prominent from the start of the 1 1/16-mile race, overtook Bellamy Road, then finished clear of a run by Patriot Act en route to his second win from six starts. Diamond Isle finished another 3 1/4 lengths back in third, while Straight Line was fourth and Bellamy Road, the 2-1 favorite, faded to seventh.

Consolidator, a Storm Cat colt owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, returned $13.80 as fourth choice. He had been well beaten in his two most recent starts, the Sanford and Hopeful, both at Saratoga.

"We're thrilled," said Lukas. "I just wanted to stretch him out. I thought he'd do it well, and he did."

Before a crowd of 25,405, Bellamy Road, tailed closest by Consolidator, appeared to relax on fractions of 23.19 and 47.14 seconds before Consolidator overtook him late in the far turn. Patriot Act, a maiden owned by race sponsor Lane's End Farm, then made a sustained outside run to loom the biggest threat, but Consolidator, racing very close to the rail, just kept going to win in 1:43.67 over a fast track.

Having given Lukas his record sixth victory in the Breeders' Futurity, Consolidator will run next in the

Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Lone Star Park. "He had to punch his ticket today, and I think he did," said Lukas, the winningest trainer in BC history. "I think he'll fit real well down there."

Meanwhile, the Breeders' Futurity perpetuated an incredible recent run for Bejarano, who is well on his way to leading all North American jockeys in wins this year. Going into the race, Bejarano, 22, already had won the first two graded races of the Keeneland meet, having captured the Grade 3 Phoenix aboard Champali and the Grade 2 Alcibiades with Runway Model on the opening program Friday.

"He's riding strong and aggressive, and he's finishing well, too," said Lukas.

Patriot Act is very unlikely to try the BC Juvenile, said trainer Neil Howard, who otherwise was thrilled with the colt's effort.

Magna Graduate and Copy My Notes were early scratches, leaving a field of 10.