HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Jose D’Angelo entered Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park with peace of mind after learning that Bentornato had arrived safely in Saudi Arabia following a trans-Atlantic flight that had originated at Miami International Airport.

“He just arrived. He arrived good,” D’Angelo said. “We’ll just wait for the race on the 24th.”

Leon King Stable Corp.’s Bentornato is scheduled to run in the $1.5 million Saudi Derby (Group 3) at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh on the undercard of the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) Feb. 24. He was accompanied on the flight by a trio of contenders for the Saudi Cup, including National Treasure, who captured the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Jan. 27, and White Abarrio, the 2022 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) winner who is coming off a victory in the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. Senor Buscador, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational runner-up who completed his preparation at Gulfstream Park, was also aboard the flight.

Bentornato won the first four races of his career last year, including victories in the $100,000 Dr. Fager and $200,000 Affirmed, the first two legs of the FTBO Florida Sire Stakes series. He sustained his first loss in the $300,000 In Reality while running around two turns for the first time in the mile-and-one-sixteenth Florida Sire Stakes finale, in which he finished a length behind victorious Seminole Chief.

“I know the mile is long, but he’ll do good, because it’s one turn,” D’Angelo said of the Saudi Derby distance. “That’s a big difference for him.”

Luis Saez has the mount aboard the son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Valiant Minister out of Her Special Way, by Put It Back. With a record of four wins in five starts with one third, Bentornato has earned $311,839.

Bentornato was bred in Florida by Tanma Corp.

Return to the Feb. 14 issue of Wire to Wire