Leon King Stable Corp’s Florida-bred Bentornato heads a list of 20 recently-turned 3-years-olds nominated to the $75,000 Pasco to be run at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 13, a seven-furlong test that also has a $50,000 bonus for a Florida Sire Stakes-eligible winner and a $25,000 win bonus for a registered Florida-bred. Both bonuses are presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Trained by Jose D’Angelo, Bentornato was a star last year at Gulfstream Park where he won his first four career starts including three stakes. After winning the $90,000 Proud Man in his second race in August, the son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Valiant Minister won the first two legs of the rich Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes series, taking the $100,000 Dr. Fager by seven-and-a-half-lengths on Sept. 9 and the $200,000 Affirmed by two-and-three-quarters lengths on Oct. 21. He suffered his first and only loss to when third behind winner Seminole Chief in the $300,000 Florida Sire Stakes In Reality on Dec. 2.

Bentornato is out of Her Special Way, by Put It Back and has earned $311,830 from his five starts. He was bred in Florida by Tanma Corp.

Florida-bred Secret Lover, who also started in all three legs of the Florida Sire Stakes and was second in the In Reality, is also nominated to the Pasco for trainer Antonio Sano. The son of Journeyman Stud stallion Khozan has earned $125,640 in eight starts for owner Cammarota Racing LLC.

Other Florida-bred nominees to the Pasco include Banded Rocket, El Principito, Everdoit, Holiday Pay, Louie the Sun King, Ninja Star and Rathmore.

Trainer Thomas Albertrani has nominated Patriot Spirit after the bay son of Constitution won the $100,000 Inaugural by nearly two lengths at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 2 and trainer Larry Demeritte has nominated West Saratoga, winner of the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Sept. 16. Book‘em Danno, winner of the $150,000 Futurity during the Belmont a Big meeting on Oct. 8 is also nominated.

Return to the Jan. 4 issue of Wire to Wire