08/18/2012 1:49PM

Saratoga: Fort Loudon breezes in tune-up for King's Bishop


Two hours after his Jackson Bend escaped serious injury in a mishap on the Oklahoma training track early Saturday morning, trainer Nick Zito sent another of his sprint stars, Fort Loudon, over to the main track to breeze a half-mile in 48.64 seconds under jockey Junior Alvarado in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop.

Fort Loudon broke off two lengths behind his workmate, the maiden Armed USA, completing his opening two furlongs in 24.16. Armed USA began to struggle to keep pace turning for home, Fort Loudon easily drawing more than eight lengths clear at the wire after a final quarter in 24.48 while under only mild encouragement from Alvarado approaching the finish line. Fort Loudon galloped out five-eighths in 1:01.45 and continued on willingly around the turn to pull up six furlongs in 1:15.29.

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Fort Loudon was sent to Zito by owner Fred Brei following his game victory over the 1-5 favorite Trinniberg in Calder’s Grade 3 Carry Back earlier this summer. Fort Loudon has started once at this meet, finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Amsterdam.

“He was good. It was the even splits that I like. He went the 12’s,” said Zito. “Junior has been watching the tapes of his races and he knows he’s a horse you’ve got to ride so it was kind of good he was on him this morning. We’re happy.”    

Fort Loudon is again expected to face Trinniberg as well as Amsterdam winner Currency Swap in the King’s Bishop.