09/01/2013 9:38PM

Del Mar notes: Paynter targets Awesome Again Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter finished last of five as the favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Paynter, who finished a well-beaten last of five as the favorite in Saturday’s $735,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, will start in the $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28, trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

Paynter was beaten 12 1/2 lengths by Alpha in the Grade 1 Woodward, run over 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy, sealed racetrack. Baffert, who stayed in Southern California over the weekend, said Paynter was unprepared at the start and uncomfortable with mud in his face.

“He missed the break, and the mud hit him,” Baffert said. “He’ll run in the Awesome Again.”

The Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at 1 1/8 miles is a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2.

Owned by Zayat Stables, Paynter overcame laminitis and colitis last fall to return to training this year. After winning his comeback in an allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park, Paynter finished second in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 27.

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Trainer Blincoe retires

More than 60 years of involvement in Thoroughbred racing is ending this summer for Southern California trainer Tom Blincoe.

Blincoe, 76, had his final starter last Friday, when Tickle Again finished fourth in a maiden race at Del Mar. On Sunday, Blincoe was wrapping up the business of his small stable – and looking forward to retirement.

“I’ve got a million hobbies and a big family,” he said. “Everyone has driven up the coast to the Redwoods  but me.”

Blincoe has a home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., near Del Mar and plans to visit his children and grandchildren. Blincoe moved to California in the late 1950s and received a trainer’s license at age 21, “which was unheard of at the time,” he said.

In the last 20 years, he trained the stakes-placed runners Loma Linda Lass and Wild Tickle. Tickle Again is out of Wild Tickle.

Blincoe said members of his stable have been sent to other trainers, and that his primary client, Richard Bell, is “phasing out” his racing holdings.