07/15/2013 3:56PM

Del Mar: Baffert works big guns Midnight Lucky, Paynter

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Paynter wins his comeback race last month at Hollywood Park. He worked with stablemate Liaison at Del Mar on Monday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Led by Midnight Lucky and Paynter, trainer Bob Baffert worked a number of his stable stars at Del Mar on Monday morning for potential starts both here and on the East Coast.

Midnight Lucky, winner of the Acorn Stakes at Belmont on May 27, went five furlongs on Polytrack in 59.40 seconds in preparation for the Grade 1, $300,000 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga on July 27.

“She went nice,” Baffert said of Midnight Lucky, who is by Midnight Lute. “She likes anything, like her sire.”

Paynter, who came off a lengthy layoff to score a dazzling comeback win at Betfair Hollywood Park last month, worked in company with Liaison. They were credited with a five-furlong move, Paynter officially in 1:00.20, Liaison in 1:00.60, but Liaison started off two lengths in front of Paynter, they were even at the wire, and Liaison galloped out the stronger of the two around the clubhouse turn.

“Liaison worked nice,” Baffert said.

Liaison was second in the Californian at Hollywood Park on June 1 in his most recent start.

Paynter was not impressive when working on Polytrack at Del Mar last summer prior to the Haskell, and won the Haskell, which was on dirt, by 3 3/4 lengths. Baffert said he is considering the Grade 2, $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 27 for both Liaison and Paynter, but said he could send one to Monmouth Park for the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Cup on the Haskell Invitational undercard on July 28. Both the San Diego and Monmouth Cup are at 1 1/16 miles.

Baffert also worked Code West five furlongs in 1:00 as he readies for his next start, which could come here or on the East Coast, depending, Baffert said, “on how he does on this surface.”

Code West won the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs in his most recent start, June 15. He and Power Broker are both owned by Gary and Mary West, and both are under consideration for races like the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27, the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell, and the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 3.

m More than 1 year ago
BOBBY - DON'T send Paynter to Monmouth!!!!! almost killed the poor guy last time....it's that Rotten Jersey air :)
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Horse Cents! I am crushed BUT, I will soldier on unabated. I'll even invite you to the winner's circle (when the time comes) despite your rejection. However, I won't force you to ask Baffert for an autograph! Break a leg with your homebreds, will ya?! :-)
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Meydan Rocks. Never, absolutely not. I would never send any of my horses to Baffert. I would never partner with you because you would want to. I already am an owner and breeder. Wish you the best on your dream of doing what I and many others do. Anybody would know it takes more than any trainer to be lucky enough to have a millionaire in the barn.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Horse Cents. You and I should consider teaming up someday to buy a horse and send him to Baffert... so long as he follows Game On Dude's path to $5 million plus and counting. Are you with me pal? :-)
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
So much made over a few comments from Baffert. Basically I think Paynter will run at Monmouth. Liason on Del Mar. Dude will stay home and await his competition smartly. Then Midnight Lucky wins Test. Paynter stays east at Terranova barn for Woodward. Its not rocket science its smart common sense handling...and a little b.s. from Baffert to keep folks guessing. Hope Paynter handles the ship n run stresses.
michael More than 1 year ago
Paynter got sick Mth. You dont throw the dice again in NJ and hope for thebest.
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
What does the track have to do with his sickness ? Its just a coincidence that he fell sick there.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Thats my point.
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
Would have loved to see Game on Dude ship to the Spa!
James More than 1 year ago
Bobby B's loaded again with a bunch of stake horses
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
So Midnight Lucky is definitely headed to the east coast and Saratoga. Paynter or Liaison is likely to head to the east coast. Code West and Power Broker are likely to head east as well. But, Game On Dude, nahh, "that's a tough ship" says Baffert.
Elijah Allison More than 1 year ago
So what why do you care?
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Ha, why do you think I care? I don't give a horses butt. I just think it's funny that shipping east is no problem for bobby, but talks out his .......when it comes to shipping Dude. Why should he lie about it. PS, why do you care whether I care. You clearly missed the point and the joke.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
If Paynter doesn't like Del Mar's Poly, which seems to be the case, then Baffert has little choice but to ship him out. And if Paynter is going to ship out, why would Baffert also ship Game on Dude? Why, especially since there is a million dollar race at Del Mar? You think Baffert should leave it to Liaison to hold down the fort at Del Mar and be his #1 entrant in the Pacific Classic? Because Liaison is not a true 10 furlong horse nor has he proven himself at the grade 1 level against open(non-age restricted) competition. The San Diego, a grade 2 at 8.5 furlongs at Del Mar and a win and you're in race for the BC Dirt Mile makes sense for Liaison, as the BC Dirt Mile would appear to his year-end goal. If he runs well in the San Diego, maybe Baffert would run him back again in the Pacific Classic, but only as his #2 horse in the race. If in the next few weeks Paynter picks it up at Del Mar and then stays there and wins the San Diego impressively, then maybe your demand for Game on Dude to ship will hold more weight. But it makes no sense to ship Game on Dude if Paynter has to ship, especially with the richest non-BC thoroughbred race in California(Pacific Classic) being run at Del Mar.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Blah blah blah Jordon. The point and the joke was simply that shipping is no problem for bobby and his horses. No problem with Dude staying in CA, sure why not, but he says because it's a tough ship. Don't read more into what I said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Dude ships poorly. That why he had plastic shoes on at Charles Town. He ripped his hooves on the flight over. He never said shipping all of his horses was tough, just the Dude was who he was speaking of when he said that.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Of course, he never said that and I never said that he did. Geez is everyone incapable of reading? But, bob did say he was a good shipper before saying east coast was a tough ship when speaking of Saratoga for him.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure how badly Dude ships given Baffert shipped him out of Cali for 3 races in 2011, Dubai last year, and Charles Town(again) this year. And Baffert had shipped him to Texas as a 3 year old to win the Lone Star Derby and then shipped him to NYC for the Belmont Stakes. Of these efforts, the only truly poor run occurred in Dubai. Also keep in mind that when Dude was being shipped in 2010 and 2011 he wasn't nearly the horse he is now. I don't think it a coincidence that Dude was victorious in his one post-Dubai ship(Charles Town).
Gomez More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, I do not read every article every day, but in what interview did Bob say Dude was a good shipper, I missed that one.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
When he sent him to chucktown and many other out of state races.
Mark More than 1 year ago
All I remember hearing last year when Dullahan beat dude was that he's not a synthetic horse. He doesn't like del mar surface. So keep him there to run on it again ? Blah blah ! Could care less. Saratoga starts for the 150th meet Friday. Have fun with your 7 grade 1 and that fraud the dude. Bafferts real runners will be at the spa.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
you don't know what you are talking about
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I think it is fairly well established that Game on Dude doesn't like the Del Mar Poly as much as Santa Anita or Hollywood Park. However, his effort in last year's Pacific Classic was an improvement over his 2011 effort, likely reflecting that the Dude was simply a better horse last year than 2 years ago. And since Game on Dude appears to be even better this year, one can expect that Dude will produce his best Pacific Classic effort to date, and improvement over last year will make him very formidable. Ultimately, when Baffert finalizes plans it's not going to be based purely on just how much Game on Dude likes or dislikes Del Mar but on the Dude's preferences relative to Paynter's preferences. So, even though Dude is not at his best at Del mar, if he dislikes the surface less than Paynter does it will be Dude staying and Paynter shipping.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Much of the decision of Cali horsemen to ship East to a place like Saratoga depends on the balance of opportunites at Del Mar compared to Saratoga. For horses within certain divsions, there are major incentives to ship while for horses in other divisions shipping would seem sub-optimal. For example, there is basically nothing out in California for maintrack 3 year olds and 3 year old fillies the remainder of the year. For Cali trainers and owners of top maintrack 3 year olds, shipping is almost a no-brainer. Other divisions in which there are few opportunites out West in the summer and fall are the male turf division(particularly for the marathon runners), and turf females. And there is no Cali equivalent of the Ballerina for female sprinters. If Cali connections in these divisons want to make money and/or win prestigious races, they're going to have to ship. In contrast, the opportunities for older males in Cali are plentiful. Coming off the grade 1 $500k Hollywood Gold Cup there is the grade 1 $1 million dollar Pacific Classic, the grade 2 San Diego as either a prep for the Pacific Classic or a way to make the BC Dirt Mile, and finally the gr.1 Awesome Again(Goodwood). Older maintrack females have the gr.1 Clement Hirsch at Del Mar followed by the gr.1 Zenyatta(Lady's Secret) at Santa Anita. 2 year old males and females both have 2 opportunities to win grade 1s prior to the BC(and one additional opportunity in Decemeber for each division). Finally, sprinters have the gr.1 Bing Crosby, the gr.2 Pat O'Brien, and the gr.1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship(Ancient Title). Thus, it's entirely logical that Baffert would be shipping his 3 year old colts and fillies back East, given how few opportunities there are for such horses in Cali. In contrast
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
Wow ,.Much Knowledg-?????-Baffert Rules-Loluck-DS
John More than 1 year ago
Midnight Lucky ..............................MONSTER ! Unfortunatly I got the worst ride of the year when I bet her against Dreaming of Julia and the others, 22.2 45.2 109.1 going 1 1/8th aint going to cash many tickets . THEN, she rates and "cha ching , meet me in the cashiers line "..............................
Bob More than 1 year ago
This horse cannot rate to a 1:12 . She is pure speed . Not gonna win many two turn races in other words.
scott More than 1 year ago
Worst ride... try poor handicapping with no feel for the pace scenario that day.
Ronald Dodgen More than 1 year ago
Here are her fractions when you lost betting Midnight Lucky 22.84 46.79 111.34 not quite 22.2 45.2 109.1 but good try.