After rating in fourth early in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds, One Liner surged toward the lead off the far turn, where he engaged Petrov in a stretch duel before taking command at the sixteenth pole on his way to a 3 1/2-length win.
In the Southwest, Smarty Jones Stakes winner Uncontested and Channing Hill powered through a half-mile in :46.55 ahead of Petrov, runner-up in the Smarty Jones. Stakes winner Warrior's Club and One Liner followed closely in third and fourth.
Petrov rushed past Uncontested heading out of the far turn and into the stretch, but One Liner moved up to engage Petrov in early stretch before drawing clear to win going away.
One Liner completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.85 and was followed home by Petrov, Lookin At Lee and Silver Dust. Uncontested faded to sixth in the 12-horse field.
Velazquez said One Liner settled nicely and eventually showed competitiveness.
"We knew he would come out running with this being his first time around two turns. I just wanted to save something for the end and I didn't want to rush him," Velazquez said. "He broke real well and once he got around the first turn he relaxed for me.
"By the time we got to the 3/8th pole I had to get aggressive with him and let him know it was time to get busy. Then he got aggressive and then he got competitive. From there, I knew he had it won."
"I'm very pleased with One Liner’s race. He handled things very professionally," Pletcher said. "He shipped and settled in well. It looked like he finished strong and may have left something in reserve, which is encouraging."
With the win, One Liner secured 10 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points system used to determined the field of the Louisville classic if more than 20 horses are entered. The second- through fourth-place finishers also were awarded points on a 4-2-1 scale.
Pletcher said One Liner showed talent from the beginning. Now the connections will focus on his next step.
"He had shown a lot in his training before he even debuted at Saratoga, so we weren't surprised that he won at first asking," Pletcher said. "We had to give him some time after that race because of some baby issues, but he came back very good and has been training good, so we were confident in him. At this point I'd say everything is in play [for his next race]. We'll discuss it with the connections. We still have time for two more races if that's the path he continues on."