05/18/2013 2:09PM

Hollywood Park notes: Paynter puts in strong work

Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter "still has a ways to go" before he makes his return to racing, said trainer Bob Baffert.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Paynter, winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational last August who later survived a bout with laminitis, is nearing a comeback.

Friday, the 4-year-old Paynter worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 at Hollywood Park, his sixth workout on the surface since mid-April. Trainer Bob Baffert, who won Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico with Fiftyshadesofhay, said that he has not selected a race for Paynter’s return.

“He still has a ways to go,” Baffert said.

Owned by Zayat Stables, Paynter has won 3 of 6 starts and $952,224. He resumed training last winter, but missed a few weeks of exercise in early spring because of tender feet, Baffert said last month.

Batti Man hangs on

Batti Man may be kept to another allowance race after winning an optional claimer by a nose against the stakes winner Rousing Sermon on Friday.

Ridden by Brice Blanc, Batti Man led throughout the race over 1 1/16 miles and won as a 12-1 outsider.

“He really dug in in the last three jumps,” Blanc said.

Trainer Dan Hendricks said that Batti Man has little chance of winning if pressured on the front. Friday, he led by a half-length for the first half of the race.

“I’ve got to place him in the right spots,” Hendricks said.

Agent switches

Several prominent jockeys in Southern California have switched agents in recent days.

Martin Garcia has replaced Jim Pegram, with the agent’s son, Brad, who will continue to book mounts on behalf of Mike Smith. David Flores, who had worked with Brad Pegram, recently hired Saul Marquez.

Corey Nakatani, previously represented by Brian Beach, will now be represented by Jim Pegram.

Beach will continue to book mounts for Victor Espinoza.