05/27/2012 12:13PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Baffert still a Belmont player with Paynter

Tom Keyser
Paynter, shown winning an allowance on the Preakness undercard, will represent trainer Bob Baffert in the June 9 Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - While Bob Baffert sent Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister home to California, the Hall of Fame trainer will still have a wild card to play in the June 9 Belmont Stakes with Paynter, who on Sunday worked a solid five furlongs over the Belmont Park training track.

[BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds]

Paynter, a 5 3/4-length allowance winner at Pimlico on Preakness Day, breezed five furlongs in 59.26 seconds, going in company with the Jerome Stakes runner-up Brigand. Paynter, under exercise rider Simon Harris, began his breeze about 1 1/2 lengths behind Brigand, caught him after breezing a quarter-mile in 24.21 seconds and finished about 1 1/2 lengths in front of Brigand while completing his final three furlongs in 35.05 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.74.

“He’s just a little bit lazy, I was a length or so behind [Brigand], I just had to shake him up to go get him,” Harris said. “Once I did that, he responded right away. Not only did he go get him, he went right by him. I’m really happy with the work.”

[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]

Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s assistant, called an audible and moved Paynter’s work from the main track to the training track after a thunderstorm hit Belmont 15 minutes before the main track’s renovation break. The main track was sloppy and sealed, but the training track was harrowed and labeled fast, but was more on the good side following the rain.

“He worked fine,” Barnes said. “Bob said go in a minute and we went a shade under a minute.”

Both Barnes and Harris indicated that Paynter came out of his allowance race at Pimlico in good shape. In fact, Harris was surprised to learn that Paynter ran just eight days ago.

“Plenty of energy,” Harris said.

Said Barnes: “We got a fresh horse that’s for sure.”

Barnes said given the hard campaign Bodemeister had, it wouldn’t have been “the right thing to do to run him back” against I’ll Have Another, who will seek to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner in the Belmont.

“He had three very hard races,” Barnes said. “There are a lot of other races in the summer with the Haskell probably being the main one to look forward to.”

Barnes said the 1 1/2 miles is an unknown for Paynter and the other 11 horses under consideration for the Belmont.

“I don’t think anybody knows whether they can go a mile and a half, do they?” Barnes said.

Due to the forecasted rain, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin moved Alpha’s work up to from 8:45 on the main track to 6:15 a.m. on the training track.

Alpha worked five furlongs in 1:01.93, breaking off from the half-mile pole. He worked in company with the stakes-winning filly Coax Liberty, who ended her work at the wire and was given a four-furlong time of 49.10 seconds.

“We got it in, he worked great,” McLaughlin said.

It was Alpha’s first work since he finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. McLaughlin noted that Alpha “melted before our eyes” in the paddock at Churchill Downs.

McLaughlin said that he schooled Alpha in the paddock at Belmont on Saturday and he “got a little warm. We’ll do it again.”

Due the sloppy main track, trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal canceled a scheduled workout for Belmont longshot Guyana Star Dweej, who just galloped over the main track after the break.

Dale Romans said that Dullahan was scheduled to leave Churchill Downs around 5 or 6 p.m. Sunday by van and arrive at Belmont around 5 or 6 Monday morning.

 Upon his arrival, nine of the 12 horses under consideration for the Belmont Stakes will be on the grounds. Union Rags (Fair Hill), Optimizer (Churchill Downs), and Ravelo’s Boy (Calder) are not here.




Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paynter has not one but TWO beyers higher than anything Dullahan or Union Rags has run this year
Tim More than 1 year ago
Beyers run at 1 1/16 or even 1 1/8 do not mean much in the Belmont Stakes...a horse with a top Beyer in the low or mid 80's could win this race ...
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
only if it came up sloppy and somebody freaked in the mud. Otherwise it's not happening, not when there is a legitimate and battle tested Derby/Preakness winner.
Vincent Giordano More than 1 year ago
Rose Napravnick will do what Julie Krone did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Results of 2012 Belmont Stakes (Prediction) Dullahan $21.20 8.80 5.40 Union Rags 6.20 5.00 Optimizer 21.80 EX 136.00 TRIF 3,288.40 SUPER 27,592.00 Also Rans: (In order of Finish) Alpha, Paynter, I'll Have Another, Street Life, Atigun, Five Sixteen, Ravelo's Boy, Unstoppable U. Guyana Star Dweej DULLAHAN, allowed to settle mid pack the first mile, gained ground while advancing in the 3 path thereafter to reach parity with UNION RAGS with a 1/16th to go and prevailed by a head in a furious duel to the wire. UNION RAGS, saving ground on the rail while running third the first six furlongs, began accelerating to pass PAYNTER and I'LL HAVE ANOTHER by the mile marker and looked poised for a win only to be outfinished in the last 30 yards by a determined DULLAHAN. OPTIMIZER, was kept back under good rating until the last quarter mile and closed ferociously to be third. ALPHA, also slow in the early stages, advanced gradually throughout every stage of the race to finish fourth without menacing the top three. PAYNTER, forwardly placed while being pursued by I'LL HAVE ANOTHER for eight furlongs, tired thereafter to finish fifth. I'LL HAVE ANOTHER, racing forwardly behind PAYNTER to the mile marker suddenly began to tire and dropped back steadily the last half mile to fall short of the winner by 9 lengths.STREET LIFE, ATIGUN and FIVE SIXTEEN all raced midpack throughout and failed to menace the top six. RAVELO'S BOY, UNSTOPPABLE U, & GUYANA STAR DWEEJ were overmatched and never threatened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not know why it came out Anonymous above. The above is my prediction. P.S.-I am NOT psychic so bet at your own risk. We will see how close I came to the final outcome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
R. MARTIN, of Yahoo, posted the hypothetical predicted order of finish and race description above. It keeps coming up "Anonymous" (perhaps ominously).
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Footnote: The 2012 Belmont Stakes was run on the Widener Turf Course on behest of the Triple Clown Committee to emulate the Canadians.
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
Love your sense of humor! This Belmont needs humor. It has nothing else. If this was like the Ali-Frazier fight this bunch would occupy fights 1 and 2------- 4 and 6 rounds preliminary fights. We have to go back decades to find such an inept bunch of fighters as we find in the 2012 Belmont Stakes.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
I see many signs that this Equibase chart was prepared by an imposter: 1) From the payouts for Dullahan and Union Rags, they have to be no worse than 4th choice. So for both of them to show, it is impossible for Optimizer to pay $21.80 to show even if he's 99-1. Unless there is significant bridge jumping on IHA, in which case both Dullahan and Union Rags' show payouts have to be over $10. 2) They never chart "the first mile", it would be "to the half mile pole". 3) It will take a horse with impeccable pedigree to make this kind of sustained half mile move in a 12f race. The last time we saw two of them making this kind of move in the Belmont Stakes was Jazil and Bluegrass Cat, both with impeccable pedigree. Come on, you can't pick two horses with far below average distance Tomlinson Figure out of this field and expect us to take you seriously. Maybe one, but both? 4) I'll Have Another has never been passed by another horse in a route race. Creative Cause came close in the Santa Anita Derby, but no one else even threatened. But now 4 horses are just gonna roll right by him? Any horse that could win both the Derby and the Preakness is a serious horse. They might not win, but they always run fairly well in the Belmont. Even War Emblem had an excuse besides his suspect pedigree. I don't see "stumbled at the start" in IHA's running line. Heck, even Mine That Bird ran better than that, and he was a fluke who never won anything before or after the Derby. IHA won the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The last 2 horses who did that were Sunday Silence and Affirmed, both of them first ballot hall of famer so will IHA even if he doesn't win another race. 5) Unstoppable U is the confirmed frontrunner in this race, not Paynter. Why is there no troubled running line to explain why he didn't get the lead? 6) We have the second choice come in 2nd and the 3rd or 4th choice comes in 1st in a 12 horse field, and the trifecta pays more than the 20-horse field Kentucky Derby? Wowsers!!
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
Grass: I'm gonna have to introduce to my gambling buddy degenerates "the chinaman"(a kamakatzi 3X the rent money type), "too late" (39/0 when getting in line late to make a last minute bet) and "cry baby bob" (complaining he wins too little when he wins). The four of you can extrapolate on the EQUIBOCALBASE prediction chart as to payouts, race recap and overall exactitude of same. I just hope you can meet un-stoned. Good grief Charlie Brown!
Mickey More than 1 year ago
Grass Is Greener.......I won't judge you, by your statement about Mine That Bird......But, I will correct you on the statement.......Mine That Bird was not a [fluke].......He was Two-year Old of the Year in Canada.......He was a viable Triple Crown threat in the year that he ran in it......He ran FIRST in the Kentucky Derby, he ran Second in the Preakness, and, he ran THIRD in the Belmont Stakes.......Had Mike Smith moved on him just a little earlier and hadn't gotten him into trouble just before that, he would have won the Preakness, why?, because he was flying by Rachel Alexandra at the end of the Race...... Just a little information for those of you who don't know.......Since 1950, there have only been two(2) Horses who ran the last quarter of a mile in the Kentucky Derby under 22 seconds flat.......And they were?.......Secretariat and MINE THAT BIRD......MINE THAT BIRD ran his race in the slop.............That's no [fluke], that's a RACEHORSE.......
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Perhaps fluke has a negative connotation, I don't know what else to call Mine That Bird. I am disputing the fact that he won the Kentucky Derby fair and square, even though he won because he freaked in the mud and it was a fairly weak bunch of 3yo (the fact that I bet Pioneer of the Nile and I was looking good turning for home has nothing to do with it). I know he was the Canadian Juvenile Champion. There have been many other much more accomplished juvenile in history. Mine That Bird finished last in the BC Juvenile with one win after his 2yo season and that happened to be the Kentucky Derby in the slop, which also happen to be his only win on dirt. As far as the Preakness, he was a late closing second mainly because Rachel Alexandra ran all those mediocre colts to the ground. She held off MTB safely, there was no anxious moment of any kind, like Went The Day Well passing tired runners in the Derby. Rachel Alexandra as a 3yo had more fight in her still, MTB wasn't gonna win that race, I was there at Saratoga for the Woodward I thought Macho Again was gonna run her down (that's Macho Again I know, but even him accomplished more than MTB). I am no fan of Rachel or Jess Jackson, I was actually rooting for MTB cause I bet 3 horses WS in the 2009 Preakness looking for Rachel to finish out of the money and MTB was one of my 3 horses.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
maybe he's capable maybe not but right now he's an allowance horse and another horse for mike to give mario a piggy back ride with.....
Stephen Thompson More than 1 year ago
and he ran 9 lengths faster than older stakes fillies that day, Awesomemundo in the Allaire Dupont Distaff.
Stephen Thompson More than 1 year ago
He is a main contender. Mike Smith rated him perfectly running a 24/48/1:12 and 1:36. And he drew off to win by almost 6 lengths and posting a 106 BSF. Could be dangerous if he is allowed to run those same clips.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
That would be fast clip for 12f.
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
Really can't blame Baffert for taking a shot with this horse, considering the success the West Coasters have had this Triple Crown run. His 5th in the SA Derby might be enough to get 2nd or 3rd in the Belmont.
Chris Anthony More than 1 year ago
Probably a send job he'll stop at 7 furlongs
Jack More than 1 year ago
Baffert would run a 3 legged PIG, if it got him in the SPOTLIGHT,Yes NOT a fan of Mr Baffert. I'm a card carring fan of Martin Garcia,so sue me....
Perl More than 1 year ago
Comparing baffert to Lukas is ridiculous. Paynter is very talented and has every right to take a shot in this spot with a distance-bred horse who has flashed a ton of talent in four career starts. Some people don't like baffert personally but this horse belongs and he adds a lot of intrigue to the race. If he goes 8-1 or longer I'll have to play him.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
Perl, go to your bank, get the money and head to the track on June 9th. He'll be at least 16-1 (doubling your projection).. It is a certainty that he'll go off at least 16-1, and he'll probably runs to his odds. lol!!!
Perl More than 1 year ago
Big talker. By the way, using the term "lol" basically identifies you as a clown, FYI