August 4, 2012 - Saratoga, Race 3, Msw, USD $80,000, 6 1/2f

Fortify, c, 2, 2010 by Distorted Humor

1st Dam: Kotuku (GB), by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Flagbird, by Nureyev
3rd Dam: Up the Flagpole, by Hoist the Flag

Owner: Darley Stable
Breeder: Darley (KY)
Trainer: Kiaran P McLaughlin

Fortify was a bit frisky in the stalls, but all business on the track in this very promising debut. The homebred did his early work at Saratoga over the synthetic track at Greentree, with some solid breezes, and transferred nicely to the main track, capping his tab with five furlongs from the gate in 1:00 flat July 30. The bay took just enough tote action at 4-1 to suggest he was live at first asking and proved his backers correct. Fortify delayed the start by a few seconds when he reared up in the gate, but jumped well when the gates flew and was ridden for speed by Joe Bravo. He surrendered the lead to Boss Man Rocket (War Front), but was back in front as the field entered the turn. Still going ominously well at the head of the lane, he quickly put daylight on his rivals and was 5 1/2 lengths clear at the wire. El Duro (Tapit), the lukewarm 5-2 chalk, was a clear second. "He has trained very well and we were looking for a very good performance out of him, but that was pretty special," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "The fractions were very fast. He was laying second, just off them. He acted up a little bit in the gate--we'll have to work on that--but we were just happy to see him run so well." Fortify is bred on the same cross responsible for Darley stallion Any Given Saturday, and his distinguished female family includes Runup the Colors (A.P. Indy), her close relative Mineshaft (A.P. Indy) and fellow Darley luminary Little Belle (A.P. Indy). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $48,000.

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