07/15/2013 3:56PM

Del Mar: Baffert works big guns Midnight Lucky, Paynter

Email
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.