Florida Sire Stakes Hero Bentornato Ready For Saudi Derby


RRR Racing’s Isolate and Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz’s Scotland Yard will represent Florida breeders in the US$20 million Saudi Cup Saturday (Group 1) at King Abdulaziz Racecourse while Leon King Stable Corp.’s Florida-bred Bentornato is entered to run a few races earlier in the US$1.5 million Saudi Derby (G3).

Trainer Doug Watson has Isolate on a two-race win streak coming into the 1,800 meter (approximately a mile-and-one-eighth) Saudi Cup, which has a local 12:40 p.m. EST post time.

Isolate gained international attention in March of last year with a convincing victory in the Godolphin Mile Sponsored by One Zabeel (G2) at Meydan Race Course before taking a nearly nine-month break. He returned to the track on Dec. 22 to win the Al Maktoum Mile (G2) at Meydan and is listed at 20-1 on the morning line for the Saudi Cup.

Isolate is by Mark Valeski out of Tranquil Song, by Unbridled’s Song and was bred in Florida by Woodford Thoroughbreds. He has eight career wins with four seconds and two thirds from 16 starts while earning $1,150,395.

Jockey Joel Rosario has traveled to Riyadh for the Saudi Cup and will ride Isolate from post two while donning the number six saddle cloth.

Scotland Yard has drawn into the Saudi Cup off the also-eligible list with the scratch of Meisho Hario.

Trained by Moutaib Almulawah, Scotland Yard has won three of six races since traveling to the mid-east in 2022, including a second in the Custodian of the Holy Mosques Cup at King Abdulaziz Racecourse on Jan. 27.

Scotland Yard is by Quality Road out of Leslie’s Harmony, by Curlin and was bred in the Sunshine State by Bridlewood Farm. He has won four of 11 lifetime starts with three seconds and a third while banking $436,801.

He is 40-1 in the program and Luis Morales will ride the 5-year-old from post 12.

The morning favorite at 3-1 is White Abarrio, who was last seen winning the $5.52 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and owner C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC.

The winner of the 2022 Curlin Florida Derby (G1), White Abarrio has also won his last two going back to six-and-a-quarter-length romp in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 5.

The son of Race Day has won seven of 15 career starts with a second and three thirds and sports lifetime earnings of $4,946,350.

A field of 12 have assembled for the Saudi Derby for 3-year-olds at 1,600 meters (about one mile) on the dirt with Bentornato set to break from post 10 while wearing the number four saddle cloth.

A son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Valiant Minister out of Her Special Way, by Put It Back, Bentornato was undefeated in his first four career starts before finishing third to Seminole Chief in the $300,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes In Reality at a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Gulfstream Park in his last race on Dec. 2.

He won the $100,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager at six furlongs on Sept. 9 and the $200,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed going seven furlongs on Oct. 21, both at Gulfstream, prior to the In Reality.

Bentornato is trained by Jose D’Angelo and was bred in Florida by Tanma Corp.

Luis Saez picks up the mount on Bentornato.

Another Saudi Derby contender with Florida connections is Book ‘em Danno, who dominated the $50,000 Pasco going seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 13, winning by 12 ½ lengths.

The dark bay or brown son of Bucchero owned by Atlantic Six Racing LLC and trained by Derek Ryan has won four of his five career starts. His only loss came when second to Where’s Chris in the $150,000 Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov. 5.

Book ‘em Danno will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and will break from post eight with the number five saddle towel.

Return to the Feb. 22 issue of Wire to Wire