11/03/2006 1:00AM

Wait till next year for Suva, Ookashada


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It's not very surprising that Suva, who won the Fantasy Stakes last Saturday, and Ookashada, a game winner of the Ascot Graduation Breeders' Cup last Sunday, are both being turned out for the rest of the year.

They both wrapped up divisional honors with their wins, and with no stakes races scheduled for the final three weeks of racing at Hastings this year, most of the top horses on the grounds have either been sent home for the winter or shipped to other tracks.

A 2-year-old filly by Vying Victor, Suva was an easy 3 1/4-length winner of the Fantasy, and her trainer, Steve Henson, is looking forward to bringing her back next year.

"I think she has a chance to be a real nice filly," said Henson. "She has a ton of talent and she's still just learning how to run."

Suva probably would have won the Sadie Diamond Futurity in her previous start, but she was lugging in through the stretch. She was lugging in again in the Fantasy but she had a clear lead when she entered the stretch and it wasn't an issue.

"I think she just wants to lean on other horses," said Henson. "Maybe next year we'll try her without blinkers and see if that helps. I was considering taking them off for the Fantasy but she had been running so well I was a bit reluctant to make the move going into that big of a race. As it was, it worked out okay."

Suva won three races and finished second twice in five starts for earnings of $153,611. She's owned by Jeff Sangara, who paid $32,000 for her at the 2005 yearling and mixed sale held by the local division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

Ookashada, who is trained by Toni Cloutier, overcame a lot to win the Ascot. Breaking from the outside in the 10-horse field, he was forced to go three wide around the first turn. Losing that much ground early is usually enough to get most horses beat at Hastings. Ookashada never gave up, though, and after battling through fast fractions of 23.43 seconds, 46.87 and 1:11.61, he was able to repel challenges by both Sin Toro at the top of the stretch and then Mountain Musician inside the sixteenth pole.

"I thought Sin Toro was going to blow right by him at the top of the stretch," said Mark Cloutier, assistant trainer to his wife, Toni. "He's quite a horse and we're all excited about bringing him back next near. For now, he's going to get a well-deserved rest."

Ookashada was bought out of the same sale as Suva for $15,000. He won 2 of 5 starts this year and earned $157,059 for his owners, PM Racing and TD Stable.

Pedro Alvarado rode both horses.

"They're both very nice horses," he said. "I think Suva will be a lot better when she grows up. Ookashada is already mature, but he'll also improve if he can settle a bit more during the first part of his races. He really wants to go right now."

With the wins Alvarado overtook Dave Wilson as the leading stakes rider at Hastings with 10 wins. Alvarado will also cruise to his fourth riding title in the last five years at Hastings.

Alvarado's biggest win came in the Grade 3 B.C. Derby with Halo Steven.

True Metropolitan now at Woodbine

True Metropolitan, the leading candidate for local horse of the year, arrived in good shape at Woodbine last week. He's being pointed to the $150,000 Woodbine Slots Cup on Nov. 18. A win in the Slots Cup could propel him to national honors as well.

True Metropolitan, who was trained all year by Terry Jordan, will have Lorne Richards as his new trainer for the Slots Cup. Richards, who is originally from British Columbia, began his career at Hastings and is currently based at Woodbine.

Jordan left for Acapulco, Mexico, where he is mixing a bit of business with pleasure, before he was able to submit the necessary papers to Woodbine to make him trainer of record there for True Metropolitan.

"Terry just didn't have time to get his workmen's compensation papers filled out before he left for Mexico," said Richards from his barn at Woodbine. "He'll be back the day before the race."

Richards said that True Metropolitan would probably work a half-mile at Woodbine this weekend.

"He seems like a nice horse and he's certainly feeling good," said Richards. "We'll see how the track is before we make the final decision about working him or not."

From his cell phone, Jordan said that he is staying in close touch with Richards.

"Lorne said 'He was bucking and squealing when he's been coming off the track,' so I know he's doing well," said Jordan. "That's the way he acted when he was running his best races out here."

Quincy Welch has been the regular rider on True Metropolitan this year but he might not be available for the Woodbine Slots Cup.

"They've finished racing in Alberta, and Quincy wasn't sure if he could stay fit enough to do the horse justice," said Jordan. "I would like to have him but it's pretty classy of him to think of the horse first."