BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-bred Bentornato repeated his victorious debut score with a four-and-a-quarter-length victory in the $65,000 Proud Man against seven other 2-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
In winning the six-furlong test, the son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Valiant Minister also earned a $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association and is eligible for the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes. The $1.2 million series for eligible 2-year-olds by FTBOA registered stallions begins Sept. 9 at Gulfstream with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies, both at six furlongs.
“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.”
Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo from post three, Bentornato broke a step slow after being bumped at the start by Gentle Breeze to his inside as Big Effect bounced out to a quick lead from post six. Jaramillo hustled Bentornato to the front along the rail down the backstretch and had a half-length on Reaper to his outside through two furlongs in :21.93 on the fast track.
Bentornato momentarily quickened to a length advantage on Reaper into the far turn before 7-5 favorite Divieto made a big move to get close while four-wide, Reaper advanced on the rail and Gentle Breeze moved into contention in the three-path through a half-mile in :45.15. But Bentornato pulled away from his rivals turning for home and drew off in the stretch to win in 1:10.28.
Florida-breds Gentle Breeze and Reaper were a neck apart in second and third.
Bentornato paid $8.60 to win as the co-second choice at 7-2 with fourth-place finishing Florida-bred Keep on Coming. Divieto, Prevent, Northshore Drive and Big Effect completed the order of finish. Divieto was the only Proud Man starter not bred in Florida.
Jose D’ngelo – Ryan Thompson Photo
Owned by Leon King Stable Corp, Bentornato is now undefeated in two starts after a neck victory in a state-bred maiden special weight over a sloppy five furlongs at Gulfstream on July 1. With the $37,830 first-place check for winning the Proud Man and the FTBOA bonus money, Bentornato has now earned $98,830 in his two starts.
“Right from the start of training, he showed he had something special,” D’Angelo said.
A dark bay colt, Bentornato was bred by Tanma Corp and is out of Her Special Way, by Put It Back, who was purchased in foal to Valiant Minister by Terry Dyer for $2,500 at last year’s OBS Winter Mixed Sale. Her Special Way has produced five foals with two winners from three starters and Bentornato is her only black-type performer. She has an unnamed yearling colt by Valiant Minister and a weanling filly by Saketini, both bred in Florida by Terry Dyer and Audrea Dyer.
Bentornato is a two-time graduate of OBS having first sold for $45,000 at the 2022 OBS October Yearling Sale to Pro Racing Stable from the Stuart Morris consignment. Champion Equine purchased him for $170,000 out of the Golden Rock Thoroughbreds consignment at the OBS March Sale.