09/04/2012 9:29PM

Paynter fitted with casts to support his feet, showing positive signs


Paynter, the Haskell winner now hospitalized with colitis, underwent an evaluation by Hagyard Equine Medical Center veterinarian Dr. Brian Fraley on Tuesday and was fitted with casts to support his feet, according to tweets by his owner, Ahmed Zayat.

The procedure took place on the same day that Zayat said Paynter was beginning to show radiographic signs of laminitis, a painful and potentially fatal hoof disease. But Zayat tweeted an update Tuesday night, saying the 3-year-old Awesome Again colt was showing some positive signs as he continued to battle colitis. Paynter, who also was second to Union Rags in this year's Belmont, remains hospitalized at the Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y.

"He was very good for the procedure," Zayat said of Paynter on his Twitter feed. "His appetite has been greatly improved today and the diarrhea is improving. We are hopeful but are taking it day by day, and his comfort is our first concern. Please pray the hardest you can. We still want to give him the chance to fight it as long as he is telling us he wants to."

On Tuesday afternoon, Zayat tweeted that Paynter had shown signs of "rapidly progressing laminitis" that had affected three of his legs. In his nighttime tweets, Zayat noted that "Paynter had mild signs of foot pain today and radiographic changes."

Zayat tweeted Tuesday night that the effort to save his colt "will take a miracle, but he is a fighter."

EARLIER: Paynter found to have 'rapidly progressing' laminitis