10/30/2006 12:00AM

Hastings: Ookashada hangs on


Ookashada held off a late bid by Mountain Musician to win Sunday's $134,227 Ascot Graduation Breeders' Cup by a head at Hastings. The 1o1/16-mile race was the richest race for 2-year-olds at Hastings and the final stakes race at the meet, which will conclude on Nov. 26.

With Pedro Alvarado aboard, Ookashada forced a quick pace while racing three wide and then had just enough left to hold on to beat Mountain Musician.

It was a game performance by Ookashada, who appeared to be beaten when Sin Toro made a strong move to collar him at the top of the stretch. Ookashada dug in, though, and then wouldn't let a determined Mountain Musician get past him.

"Despite going three wide early, I had a lot of horse when we turned for home," said Alvarado. "I knew we could put Sin Toro away, but I didn't see the other one coming until it was almost too late."

Ookashada is trained by Toni Cloutier, assisted by her husband, Mark Cloutier.

"We're just thrilled to death," said Mark Cloutier. "He's just a classy horse, the kind of horse that makes you look good."

Ookashada paid $6.50 as a slight favorite over Sin Toro, who finished third.

Final time for the race was 1:45.18 over a track that was rated sloppy.

Ookashada earned $78,630 for his owners PM Racing and TD Stable.