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Archwarrior Takes Care of Business in Career Debut

Archwarrior made his anticipated debut on Thursday at Saratoga, comfortably dispatching his rivals in a maiden special weight race at Saratoga.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Archwarrior is trained by Todd Pletcher and races for Alto Racing. The OBS graduate won his first start by 3 ¼ lengths after rating behind the early pacesetter down the backstretch.

“Everything went as smoothly as we hoped it would. I thought he ran very well, very professional. He finished up well and galloped out strongly, said Pletcher.”

When asked whether he was nervous about his charge’s debut, Pletcher said: “Well, it wasn’t exactly like the Kentucky Derby, but generally when you lead a first-time starter over here, you’re the one that kind of knows what to expect. Not everyone else maybe expects the same thing. But yeah, we were hoping he’d run as he’d been training.”

Velazquez also was pleased with the colt’s first afternoon appearance. “He ran very, very nice. He has been very impressive in the mornings, and for him to come back and do it in the afternoon was very nice.”

When asked to compare Archwarrior to Uncle Mo, a 14 ½-length winner in his 2010 debut for Pletcher, Velazquez said:  “No, he’s not as fast as Uncle Mo. He is much bigger and heavier than Uncle Mo. Uncle Mo was smaller and faster. Archwarrior is more the type of horse who will really get good when the distances get longer. He’s not going to win by 10 or 12 lengths, he’s not going to open up on the field. He’s just kind of steady. He should run all day long.”

NYRA Press contributed to this report.

Archwarrior/NYRA photo