Stronach Stable's Macho Uno, last year's champion 2-year-old, raced greenly in his 3-year-old debut at Saratoga Wednesday after getting the lead, then was nosed at the wire by 10-1 shot Wicked Will.
In the seven-furlong non-winners-of-three "other than" allowance race for 3-year-olds and up, the 4-5 Macho Uno broke from the rail under Jerry Bailey and stalked the early pace set by Stake Runner and Country Only. The early splits were :22.42 and :44.44. Turning for home, Macho Uno, under strong urging by Bailey, fought for the lead while drifting in and bumping with Country Only. Once he got the lead, he came out, and was run down by the late-charging Wicked Will in the last jump.
Wicked Will, a 3-year-old son of Runaway Groom is owned by Joseph Platt and trained by Frank Alexander. He was ridden by Pat Day.
Final time for the race was 1:21.88. The winner returned $22.
Before the race, Macho Uno was unruly behind the gate, but settled nicely once loaded. Trainer Joe Orseno, who has been extremely patient with last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner, said, "I'd like to see him finishing down the lane. Of course I want him to win, but this is a steppingstone toward bigger and better things."