06/29/2002 12:00AM

Orientate fastest in Aristides


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Orientate, ridden by Robby Albarado, emerged from a speed duel with No Armistice to pull away to a stakes-record victory Saturday in the 14th running of the $107,500 Aristides Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Orientate, the 8-5 second choice in a field of five older horses, drew clear in the upper stretch to finish 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Binthebest in the Aristides, a Grade 3 race at 6 1/2 furlongs. No Armistice, the 3-2 favorite, finished third, another length back, while Bet on Sunshine, the 121-pound highweight and two-time defending champion, was another length back in fourth.

Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Orientate returned $5.40 after finishing in 1:14.41 over a fast track, coming within .07 seconds of the track record set last year by Love at Noon.

Orientate, a 4-year-old colt by Mt. Livermore, was coming off two defeats on turf but had won the Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup at Keeneland before those races.

Orientate and No Armistice - both of whom last raced at Hollywood Park - sped far ahead of their three rivals when contesting fractions of 22.09 and 44.42 seconds. They matched strides until Orientate, racing closest to the rail, drew off with flair for his sixth victory in 15 starts.

Bet on Sunshine, dismissed as the 3-1 third choice, was never a factor under Calvin Borel. U.S. Jets trailed throughout. Twilight Road was an early scratch.

The 2-4 exacta paid $23. There was no show wagering.