10/24/2008 12:00AM

Almost Time stretches out


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Almost Time is the one to beat in the $100,000 Ascot Graduation at Hastings on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile feature for 2-year-old colts and geldings drew nine horses. It is the final stakes race at the Hastings meet.

Trained by Dino Condilenios, Almost Time is coming off a win in the $106,000 Jack Diamond Futurity on Oct. 5 and his late-running style suggests he will be able to handle a middle distance. The breeding on his dam's side is another story. Almost Time is out of Vainglorious, a mare who won six times, but she never won a race longer than 6 1/2 furlongs. Her best result at a middle distance was a third-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Brighouse Belles. Also, none of her four previous foals won going long.

The horse he will have to catch is El Sinaloense. Trained by Juan Olmos, El Sinaloense had completely dominated the local 2-year-old division until he finished seventh in the Jack Diamond Futurity. El Sinaloense won four straight stakes races by comfortable margins going into the futurity, but after getting hooked for the first time, he faded badly.

Pedro Alvarado will likely put El Sinaloense right on the lead, and he could be dangerous if he isn't pressured early.

Gotta Find Bubba also looks like a threat.