08/30/2012 3:44PM

Saratoga: Archwarrior backs up the hype in maiden win

Tom Keyser
Archwarrior, with John Velazquez up, wins his debut by 3 1/4 lengths in Thursday’s third race at Saratoga.

Archwarrior lived up to all the advance billing when he rallied to a very professional 3 1/4-length victory over fellow first-time starter Malachite in Thursday’s third race. Archwarrior, a son of Arch owned by Alto Racing Stable, opened at 1-9 in the wagering, never got higher than 1-4, and paid $2.50 after completing six furlongs in 1:10.07 with jockey John Velazquez aboard.

Archwarrior, who had been training sensationally here all summer, was entered twice prior to Thursday’s unveiling, scratching the first time due to a wet racetrack and again on Travers Day when unable to escape the also-eligible list.

“I thought everything went as smoothly as we hoped it would,” said Pletcher who had won 20 2-year-old maiden races at the meet through Thursday. “I thought he ran very well, very professional, finished up well, and galloped out strongly. We’ve run a lot of first-time starters over the years, but I’ve never had so many questions about one beforehand. It wasn’t exactly like the Kentucky Derby, but we were hoping he’d run as well as he was training.”

[Complete coverage of racing at Saratoga: News, PPs, and video]