04/26/2007 11:00PM

Two top juveniles meet at 3


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Serious speed will be on display when Ookashada and Thesaratogaexpress hook up in the colts and geldings division of the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes at Hastings on Sunday. The 6 1/2-furlong feature drew five horses but it shapes up as head-to-head battle between last year's local 2-year-old champ, Ookashada, and Thesaratogaexpress.

The Sales Stakes is restricted to Canadian-breds who have gone through a Canadian Thorough-bred Horse Society sale.

Ookashada and Thesaratoga-express are the only stakes winners in the field. They met once last year, with Thesaratogaexpress scoring a front-running half-length win over Mountain Musician with Ookashada third in the CTHS Sales Stakes in September.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Thesaratogaexpress was turned out for the rest of the year following the Sales Stakes. This will be his first start since.

"We just wanted to give him some time to mature," said Taylor. "He's training okay, but Ookashada turned into a pretty nice horse, so I don't know if we can beat him this time."

Thesaratogaexpress will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

After getting beat in the Sales Stakes, Ookashada went on to win the two most important races for 2-year-olds at Hastings: the Jack Diamond Futurity and the Ascot Graduation Breeders' Cup.

He's trained brilliantly this spring, and his six-furlong move in 1:11.80 April 20 would win a lot of races here.

Ookashada is trained by Toni Cloutier and will be ridden by Pedro Alvarado.