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Bentornato Aims to Stay Perfect in Dr. Fager

Trainer Jose D’Angelo could not be happier with Bentornato  leading up to the $100,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager Division at Gulfstream Park, where the undefeated son of Valiant Nature  will face nine rivals. The Sept. 9 race is the first leg of the series for 2-year-old males sired by accredited Florida stallions.

“He’s in peak of condition,” D’Angelo said.

That was not the case, however, leading up to the first two starts of his career, a late-rallying debut victory July 1 and a runaway triumph in the Proud Man Stakes Aug. 12.

Minor issues interrupted his training while preparing for his debut, while a fever left the strapping colt a workout short for the six-furlong Proud Man.

“From the start, we knew we had a very nice horse,” D’Angelo said. “He was a little green the first time out. For the second race, the stake, he got a fever three weeks before the race, so he had only two workouts. He won the stake on just two workouts. That’s why I know we have a very nice horse.”

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Bentornato, who has been installed as Saturday’s 2-1 morning-line favorite, may have been short of conditioning in his five-furlong debut, but his wide rally did not come up short. The D’Angelo trainee then looked sharp in the Proud Man, in which he overcame early bumping to show the way into the stretch and draw off to win by 4 1/4 lengths.

Emisael Jaramillo, who was aboard for both victories, has the return mount in the six-furlong Dr. Fager.

Trainer Juan Alvarado is represented in the Dr. Fager by three entrants who were all first-out winners who subsequently raced in graded stakes at Saratoga in their second starts. BC Racing’s Dickens  (Adios Charlie  ), who won his 4 1/2-furlong debut June 10 by two lengths and finished third in the July 15 Sanford Stakes (G3) after setting a pressured pace; BC Racing’s Jive  (St Patrick’s Day  ) finished seventh in the Sanford after winning his five-furlong debut May 19; and Arindel’s Lasso  (Brethren  ), who rallied from well back to capture his June 3 debut by 3 1/2 lengths and then raced evenly while finishing fourth in the Aug. 12 Saratoga Special Stakes (G2).

“Dickens is fast out of the gate, but I don’t think he needs the lead. Ideally, he’s stalking some speed, but if he’s up there it won’t be a problem for him,” BC Racing’s Brian Cohen said.

“Lasso, he’s a green horse with a lot of ability. We’ll put blinkers on him coming back here and I think it will move him forward and put him in the game,” added Cohen, Arindel’s stable manager.

Stonehedge’s Gentle Breeze , who finished second in the Proud Man, will seek to turn the tables on Bentornato Saturday for trainer Ralph Nicks, who also is scheduled to run Northshore Drive for the Dr. Fager.

The Dr. Fager comes three races after a 2-year-old fillies kick off the female part of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes in the $100,000 Desert Vixen, which is also at six furlongs

Debut winners R Harper Rose  and Welcome Back  are major players, as is the stakes-placed Epona’s Hope .



This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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