07/19/2009 11:00PM

Orientate Express takes Omaha to close festival


OMAHA, Neb. - Orientate Express put an exclamation point on the final day of Horsemen's Park Festival of Racing with a strong 3 3/4-length in the $51,000 Omaha Stakes on Sunday afternoon.

Making just his second start of the year, Orientate Express followed a hard duel between The Big Wave and Social Climber, moved to challenge into the far turn, and drew off for the win in 1:37.80 for the one mile over a fast track.

Ridden by Perry Compton for trainer Kelly Von Hemel, Orientate Express returned $6 in the field of seven following the defections of Ravensworth, El Medwar, and Canard earlier in the day. Wayzata Bay rallied to be second with The Big Wave hanging on for third, another 4 3/4 lengths back. The 3-8 exacta returned $22.80 while a 3-8-4 trifecta was worth $64.20.

The fourth and final day of the Festival of Racing drew a large crowd that wagered $170,235 on the live card of five races.