10/06/2001 11:00PM

Orientate wins Indiana Derby on stretchout


ANDERSON, Ind. - Bob and Beverly Lewis' Orientate used his speed to good advantage Saturday night, posting a strong three and a quarter length win in the $314,100 Indiana Derby.

Orientate and jockey Robby Albarado gained a clear lead into the first turn of this seven-eighths mile oval and held his rivals at bay through fractions of :22.34, :46.13 and 1:10.45. Turning for home Albarado urged his mount to widen and open up by three lengths heading to the eighth marker. He held the margin to score in 1:42.22 for the mile and a sixteenth over a good track that was slowly drying from the previous night's rains.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Orientate's lack of two turn experience allowed him to be dispatched at 15-1 in the field of eleven. He returned $32.60 to win. Saratoga Games rallied in the stretch to gain second, a nose in front of longshot Trion Georgia in third. The trio combined for an 11-1-4 trifecta worth $4,457.

Burning Roma, the expected favorite and coupled in the wagering with Saratoga Games for trainer Tony Dutrow, was scratched earlier in the evening. Free Of Love, the post time favorite at 9-5, got within two and a half lengths of the winner into the far turn but faded to finish seventh.

Orientate broke his maiden in July at Saratoga and returned with an allowance victory in early August. He jump into his first stakes attempt in the Grade 1 King's Bishop where he tired to finish seventh. Now a winner of three in six starts, the $188,460 boosted the son of Mt. Livermore's earnings to $257,540.

Two other stakes were offered on the 11-race card. Red's Honor scored a decisive six length win under Justin Vitek in the $42,850 Fort Wayne Stakes for three-year-old Indiana-bred colts and geldings. Red's Honor sped the six furlongs in 1:11.31 to return $3 as the odds-on favorite.

In the $32,300 Hillsdale Stakes for two-year-olds, Pemaquid Point and Jose Martinez, Jr. was a four length winner in 1:05.54 for the five and a half furlongs. Pemaquid Point returned $7.40 for the win.