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Haskell attracts Paynter as substitute for Bodemeister
DEL MAR, Calif. – Paynter, a game second to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, is bound for the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 29, trainer Bob Baffert said.
Paynter worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Del Mar’s Polytrack synthetic surface on Wednesday.
The decision gives owner Ahmed Zayat a prominent runner in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational after the defection of his Bodemeister, the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Zayat and Baffert had intended to run Bodemeister in the Haskell, but he was declared from the race because of an elevated temperature.
Wednesday, Paynter worked in company with Blueskiesnrainbows, the winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 4.
A winner of 2 of 5 starts and $352,224, Paynter had bullet workouts twice earlier this month at Santa Anita, working five furlongs in 58.60 seconds on July 4 and six furlongs in 1:12.60 on July 11.
“He’s been working really well lately,” Baffert said.
In the Belmont, Paynter was beaten a neck by Union Rags after leading for much of the 1 1/2 miles.
Paynter will be ridden in the Haskell by jockey Rafael Bejarano, a replacement for Mike Smith. Baffert described the change in riders as a reflection of Bejarano’s presence as the stable’s first-call jockey.
Baffert said that a race for Blueskiesnrainbows has not been finalized.
“He could run in the Haskell or he could run in the Jim Dandy,” Baffert said, referring to the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 28.
Fast Falcon will run in Jim Dandy, say his connections.
Hey folks, please do your pockets a favor and keep Dullahan off your tickets. This is going to be the first horse in the history of thoroughbred racing thats 5 years old, never won a race on dirt and being bet down to 9-5.
Who is going to beat Paynter after what he did in the Belmont? The Haskell is going to be a joke. This years crop had so much potential at one point.
Blueskies has certainly looked good his last two maintrack races, a 3rd in the SA Derby and a win in the Swaps with a 103 Beyer. He's a big boy, with a pedigree to keep running. The big question I have with him is how he will do if involved in a spirited pace duel. He was basically gifted the early lead in the SA Derby, and though his fractions in the Swaps were quicker than they appear on paper(a really dead surface producing glacial times), he was able to set even 24 second fractions and didn't have a horse at his throat(although there was pressure on his outside flank and to his inside). And how will he respond if he doesn't have the lead(is he a no lead, no pass type in the mold of Eden's Moon?)
Nice to see head Bob's giving business to Bejarano. Can't help but think that at least one Triple Crown victory would have been Bodiemesiter's had Raffie been aboard. Seemed a good fit for that one. Onward and upward.......
With luck the field will be Paynter, Dullahan, Alpha, Gemologist and Hansen. If the fellows at MP are smart they will spread a few semolians (ie $$$$$$) around to get this type of quality field. Too bad Mr. Christie does not like Horse Racing. The last Governor who did was Don DiFrancesca.
I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Union Rags. Wow!! Haskell might have been a nice race. What a shame.. So it's Paynter vs Gemologist. It is what it is I guess.
I like Paynter a lot, he's a very nice 3 year old who is progressing by leaps and bounds this year. He has matured very fast from his very good (and impressive) fourth place initial showing in the Santa Anita Derby. And mentioning the SA Derby, that also brings up Blueskiesnrainbows, who was incredibly impressive in that race battling all the way to the wire against I'll Have Another and Creative Cause. BSNR has progressed nicely after some sharpening by BB and his crew this spring/early summer. I'm looking forward to some pretty good racing from Blueskiesnrainbows in the future. Bob has two very good prospects in his barn in both of these colts, and he is doing a very good job bringing them along. I'm sure he will decide on the appropriate race to show off Blueskiesnrainbows's talent in, either the Jim Dandy of Haskell. We might even get a slight price on Blueskies. Hopefully, he flies under the radar no matter which race BB places him.
Bodemeister to the Travers then?
BBaffert tweeted, "Paynter worked awesome today' at Del Mar.
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