Saratoga Day 36, 8/30
The much-hyped Archwarrior went out and won his debut with relative ease Thursday at Saratoga Race Course, wresting the lead from the pacesetter exiting the final turn and pulling off to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a maiden race, the third on the card.
“Well, it wasn't exactly like the Kentucky Derby, but you know, generally when you lead a first-time starter over here, you're the one that kind of knows what you expect, and not everybody else maybe expects the same thing,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of raised expectations for the firster. “We were hoping he'd run as well as he'd been training.”
Pletcher was pleased with the race, though still a little surprised at the attention this 2-year-old Arch colt was receiving.
'BOOKS' KEEPS BALANCE
After bumping with Hightail exiting the final turn, Balance the Books still was able to put together a strong stretch run under Julien Leparoux to win the Grade II $200,000 With Anticipation for trainer Chad Brown.
“I was a little worried. Especially when, down the backside, I saw him winding up for a big run, I knew it'd be close, and then he got a hard bump from someone [Hightail], it looked like, leaving the quarter pole, and I thought that would cost us the race,” the Mechanicville native said. “Then just in the shadow of the wire, my hope rekindled a bit, and we got there. It was a strong finish by Julien, and I'm grateful for that.”
Brown said Balance the Books will point toward the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, and he will likely prep with the Grade III Pilgrim at Belmont on Oct. 7 or the Grade I Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 6.