09/24/2010 3:30PM

Lookout Dubai, Outoftheclouds attempt to go longer in Ascot Graduation


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Lookout Dubai and Outoftheclouds look like the main players in the $50,000 Ascot Graduation for 2-year-olds at Hastings on Sunday. All of the 11 horses entered will be stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

The Ascot Graduation is one of three stakes supporting the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby. The nine-race card features full fields in most races and is easily the best card of the year at Hastings. Russell Baze adds a lot of luster to day with mounts in all four stakes.

The only possible damper on what figures to be a great day of racing is the weather forecast which calls for rain.

A wet track shouldn’t hurt either Lookout Dubai or Outoftheclouds. Lookout Dubai, trained by Terry Clyde, scored a front-running win over a track rated good when he debuted in a maiden special weight race Aug. 8.

In his only other start, Lookout Dubai forced an honest pace before giving in late to Tlaquepaque in the $51,000 New Westminister on Aug. 26. In both races he was ridden by Pedro Alvarado.

Assistant trainer Mike Anderson thinks Lookout Dubai will get the distance.

“He’s a very relaxed horse and Pedro seems pretty sure he’ll be able to go a mile and a sixteenth,” said Anderson.

Outoftheclouds, trained by Mel Snow, broke slowly and then made a strong late move to win the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes over a sloppy track Sept. 12.

Craig MacPherson likes the way Too Much Dirt is coming up to the race.

“He’s the most experienced horse in the race and it won’t hurt that Russell Baze will be riding him.”

◗ Spaghetti Mouse could be tough to catch if he breaks alertly with Pedro Alvarado aboard in the $25,000 Sir Winston Churchill. The all-time money-earning B.C.-bred, Spaghetti Mouse is coming off of a rare dull effort in a $50,000 optional claiming race won by Tommy Danzigger on Sept. 11. He looks like the lone speed in the 1 1/8-mile Churchill and should be able to set a moderate pace.

Trick of the North is looking to rebound off of a seventh-place finish in the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park on Aug. 2. Trained by Barbara Heads, Trick of the North took advantage of a fast pace to edge Spaghetti Mouse in the B.C. Cup Classic on Aug. 2. Baze picks up the mount from Alvarado.

Almost Time will also need some help up front. Trained by Dino Condilenios, Almost Time is coming off of a fast-closing fourth in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Aug. 22.

◗ Trainer Nancy Betts is pleased with the way Distorted Glamour is coming up to the six-furlong Derby Bar and Grill Express and thrilled that Baze accepted the mount. Distorted Glamour was coming off of a long layoff when he finished third in the PNE Presidents Speed on Sept. 6.

“He had 13 months off and he’s a big heavy bodied horse so it’s hard to get him fit,” said Betts. “He should be a little tighter for this and we get the dream rider.”

Burj Dubai, sensational in his first two starts, will try and get back on track after finishing 11th in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile and fourth in the PNE President’s Speed.

“He displaced his palate in the Mile but I don’t know why he didn’t run a little better in his last start,” said Condilenios. “He seems fine so I’m expecting him to run a better race Sunday.”

Boundless Cat notched his first stakes win when he came from well off the pace to nose out Cardinal Zin in the Speed.