08/28/2012 3:31PM

Saratoga: Highly touted Archwarrior set for debut

Barbara D. Livingston
Archwarrior will make his first start Thursday at Saratoga.

Through the first 34 days of the meet, trainer Todd Pletcher has won 20 races for 2-year-olds, 19 maiden events and the Grade 2 Adirondack with Kauai Katie.

Supposedly, the best one hasn’t run yet.

Thursday, Pletcher takes the wraps off Archwarrior, who debuts in a six-furlong race that goes as the third on an 11-race card. Archwarrior, a son of Arch, brought $375,000 at the OBS 2-year-old in training auction in March. He was entered to run Aug. 11, but scratched when the track came up sloppy. He was entered last Saturday, but landed on the also-eligible list and did not get to run.

He was one of nine horses to enter Thursday’s race, but at least two will scratch. Pletcher also entered Tizracer “as an insurance policy” with John Velazquez named on both. Trainer Bruce Levine named Ramon Dominguez on both Buddy’s Tiz and Buddy’s Smart. When the same rider is named on two horses at NYRA tracks, one must scratch.

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“We’re happy to get him in,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully, he runs as well as he has trained. As with any first-time starter, they still have to go over there and prove it in the afternoon.”

Archwarrior has been a terror in the morning, working with 2-year-olds and older horses and more than holding his own.

“He’s been very straightforward,” Pletcher said. “For a big horse bred to go a route of ground, he’s got tactical speed. He’s done some things in the morning you don’t normally see 2-year-olds do.”