Saturday, November 18, 2023
HALLANDALE BEACH - Undefeated Bentornato breezed six furlongs in 1:13.45 at Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for a bid to sweep the 2023 Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream Park in the $300,000 In Reality on Dec. 2.
“He breezed so, so good,” trainer Jose D’Angelo said following the workout at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
The 1 1/16-mile In Reality, the finale of the series for 2-year-olds sired by stallions standing in Florida, will be the son of Valiant Minister’s first race around two turns.
“We’ve been working very hard at stretching him out, and he’s responded very well,” D’Angelo said. “The way we are galloping him every morning is for this kind of distance, and he has responded. I think he’s ready to run the distance.”
Leon King Stable Corp.’s Bentornato has three stakes victories on his unblemished four-race resume. After rallying for a narrow debut victory at five furlongs on July 1, the son of Valiant Minister overcame early bumping to register an eye-catching 4 ¼-length front-running score in the six-furlong Proud Man on Aug. 12. He came right back with a dominating 7 ½-length front-running win in the six-furlong Dr. Fager before scoring by 2 ¾ lengths in the seven-furlong Affirmed.
Bentornato, who has raced somewhat greenly despite winning all four races by open lengths, has impressed D’Angelo with his preparation for the In Reality.
“For this race, he’s becoming more focused and keeping his mind on business,” D’Angelo said. “He’s acting more professional going to the track and going back to the barn.”
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At Gulfstream, Mattingly, who finished second in the Affirmed in his dirt debut, breezed five furlongs on Tapeta in 1:01.69 in preparation for the $300,000 In Reality.
“It was a maintenance work. Everything went according to plan,” trainer Joe Orseno said. “Slow in the beginning, and then he picked it up. He galloped out strong.”