04/26/2011 11:38AM

Hollywood Park: Akkadian looks to keep his cool in turf allowance


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Akkadian was ticked off, and so were bettors that considered the colt a standout in a turf allowance for 3-year-olds on March 18 at Santa Anita.

“The horse got mad,” trainer Julio Canani explained. “It took him three minutes to get into the gate, his ears got pulled, and he got pissed off.”

Based on a powerful maiden win, Akkadian was favored at even money his first try against winners. But he copped an attitude before the start and continued to misbehave when the race began. He got rank, steadied, pulled, and finished a disappointing fourth.

Akkadian will be favored again Thursday at Hollywood Park, where the lightly raced son of Tiznow can make amends in race 7, a turf allowance for 3-year-olds. It is the same class at which Akkadian misfired six weeks ago. This time, Canani expects a different result.

“I took him to the gate [many] times since,” Canani said. “Everything is good, he is training great.”

Owned by Gary Broad, Akkadian will be making his fourth start. Runner-up to subsequent Grade 1-placed Mr. Commons first out, Akkadian stretched out and scored a convincing maiden win Feb. 24 and then misfired.

Except for the poor attitude last time, Canani said Akkadian has “never done anything wrong, he was never rank.” If he reproduces his maiden victory Thursday while switching from Garrett Gomez to Joel Rosario, Akkadian can win the $52,000 allowance.

Akkadian faces a promising field. Great Warrior, by turf sire Leroidesanimaux, returns to his preferred surface; Cloud Man rallied from far back to win his career debut in a turf sprint and figures to love two turns; The Flying Whizzer drops from the $100,000 La Puente Stakes. Others are Palio Prince, Special Kid, Sahara Sky, and Fifth Dimension.

Great Warrior finished second in his U.S. debut, in front of Akkadian. Trainer A.C. Avila subsequently tried him on dirt at Santa Anita, where he finished off the board after early trouble. As a son of Leroidesanimaux, Great Warrior’s future is likely to be on grass or synthetic. Rafael Bejarano takes over for Omar Berrio.

Cloud Man rallied from ninth to win his debut for trainer John Shirreffs on March 12 at Santa Anita. The horse he beat (Joker Face) flattered the race when he returned April 22 with a better-than-looked effort.