Akatea brings impressive French form to Thursday allowance

The lone allowance on an 11-race Thursday card at Gulfstream Park not only will be a key component in a Rainbow 6 frenzy nearing a crescendo, but also a race that figures to show up in past performances for various stakes as this year unfolds.The feature is slotted as the second-to-last race in a Rainbow 6 that surged past the $4 million mark Sunday. In the highly unlikely event that the huge pool was taken down Wednesday – the 50th day since it was last swept – horseplayers once again will be focused Thursday on the sequence, which runs from races 6-11.

A mandatory dispersal of the Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for Saturday at the south Florida track.

A promising group of fillies and mares will convene in the 10th race on Thursday, a $46,000, second-level turf mile that drew a field of eight for the turf, including several with graded or group stakes experience. Trainer Christophe Clement appears to hold the strongest hand with the uncoupled duo of Akatea and Sparkle Factor.

Akatea, favorably drawn on the rail with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, sports particularly impressive form, having finished second against male rivals last fall in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp in France. The 4-year-old filly has had nine workouts since mid-January at Clement’s winter base at Payson Park in preparation for her first non-group attempt in nearly a year.

Thursday’s action begins at 12:35 p.m. Eastern, with the Rainbow 6 starting at 3:05 and the feature set for 5:05.


Akatea, by Sahrmardal

No Beyers

Irish-bred chestnut makes her North American debut with first-time Lasix and a terrific overseas résumé that’s likely to make her a clear-cut favorite here.

Sparkle Factor, by Arch

Beyers: 85-89

The “other” Clement horse is no slouch, having finished third in both of her starts on this continent, with her most recent start Feb. 27 at Gulfstream perhaps giving her an edge in recency.

Bride to Be, by Candy Ride

Last 3 Beyers: 83-78-78

Colts Neck homebred has done very little wrong in four starts, having never finished worse than second. Her trainer, Alan Goldberg, excels with this type.

All in Fun, by Tapit

Last 3 Beyers: 78-83-91

Unraced in more than six months, this Shug McGaughey-trained filly has competed exclusively in stakes since opening her career with a pair of victories from three starts.

Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.
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