Updated on 09/16/2011 8:09AM

Orientate sizzles to easy win in Forego

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Orientate clearly established himself as the leading sprinter in the country after a 2 1/4 length victory in Sunday's $250,000 Forego Handicap at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Orientate clearly established himself as the leading sprinter in the country after withstanding a torrid pace battle with reigning Eclipse Award champion Squirtle Squirt en route to a 2 1-4 length victory over Aldebaran in Sunday's $250,000 at Saratoga.

Orientate dueled through an opening quarter and half mile in :21.45 seconds and :44.36 with Squirtle Squirt, shook off that rival before five furlongs, drew well clear at midstretch then easily held safe Aldebaran. The latter dropped ten lengths off the leaders down the backstretch, came three wide into the stretch and finished willingly to be second best while never threatening the winner. Multiple Choice was bumped at the start then rallied belatedly to finish a well beaten third followed by a tiring Squirtle Squirt, Silky Sweep, Explicit, Hook And Ladder and Saint Verre.

Orientate, who shared highweight of 122 pounds with Squirtle Squirt, paid $5.60. He covered six and one half furlongs in 1:15.68 over a fast track under Jerry Bailey.

"I guess that dispute's the theory that he won't run if he's hooked and I think it clearly makes him the top sprinter in the country right now," said D. Wayne Lukas who trains Orientate for Bob and Beverly Lewis.

The victory was the fourth straight for Orientate since Lukas switched him back to the main track following a pair of disappointing grass outings in May.

"I expected them to go an opening quarter in :21 and 2/5," said Lukas. "And I expected something to give. I was just glad to see Squirtle Squirt didn't last more than a half mile. When he dropped off at the head of the stretch I felt pretty good."

Lukas said he has several options to consider for Orientate leading up to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"We have several ways to go but right now my first choice would be to train him up to the Breeders' Cup since he does run well fresh."

Bailey had been the regular rider for Squirtle Squirt but is now undefeated in four starts aboard Orientate,

"He was pretty brilliant today," said Bailey. "I watched his race at Calder(Smile Sprint Handicap) and knew he could hook one and have something left."

Bailey's victory aboard Delta Princess for Bill Mott in Sunday's eighth race deadlocked the battle for leading trainer honors at 18 apiece between Mott and Todd Pletcher heading into the final day of the meet on Monday.