Bentornato Made His Connections ‘Proud’ at Gulfstream
D’Angelo Trainee Top FSS Prospect with Proud Man Romp
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Leon King Stable Corp.’s Bentornato placed his name at the top of the list of prospects for the upcoming FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series with a dominating 4 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $65,000 Proud Man at Gulfstream Park.
Bentornato, a son of Valiant Minister who is undefeated in two starts, and others in Saturday’s eight-horse field in the six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds, are expected to return in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, the first leg of the 2023 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series Sept. 9.
“He is a very nice horse. He improves with every race. I’m very happy with him,” trainer Jose D’Angelo said. “I think he’s going to be a very good horse and I think he’ll run a big race in the Dr. Fager.”
The D’Angelo trainee, who won his debut by a neck with a late rally July 1, earned a $25,000 FTBOA bonus offered to a Florida-bred winner to increase his Proud Man winnings to $62,830.
“Right from the start of training, he showed he had something special,” D’Angelo said.
Big Effect went to the lead shortly after the start but was quickly joined to his inside by Bentornato and Reaper. Bentornato set the pace along the backstretch and on the far turn, closely stalked by Reaper, who offered a strong inside challenge on the turn into the homestretch. However, Bentornato, the 3-1 second betting choice ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, shook off the inside pressure and drew off to a decisive victory.
Bentornato, who came down with a fever three weeks ago, ran six furlongs in 1:10.28. Gentle Breeze closed for second, a neck ahead of Reaper. Divieto, the 7-5 favorite coming off an impressive debut victory, made a sweeping outside move on the turn into the homestretch but flattened out to finish fifth.