Updated on 10/16/2012 2:36PM

Paynter leaving New Bolton, headed to Fair Hill center in Maryland

Barbara D. Livingston
On Friday, Paynter's owner, Ahmed Zayat, tweeted: "Paynter has beaten colitis, laminitis, and a nasty abscess and today we are proud of our special colt.”

Haskell winner Paynter will leave Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center on Sunday and head to Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center in Maryland and then to WinStar Farm in Kentucky, owner Ahmed Zayat said Friday evening.

The 3-year-old colt, who has been hospitalized since Aug. 26 battling colitis and early-stage signs of laminitis, probably will stay at Fair Hill Equine Therapy in Elkton, Md., for three to four weeks before shipping on to WinStar, where he likely will remain for at least two to three months, Zayat estimated.

Regarding the decision to give Paynter about a month in Maryland before heading to WinStar, Zayat said, "The reason I am doing that is that I'm a little nervous, and I don't want to ship him too long, even though he's doing everything right and everyone is kind of bullish and comfortable. We've been very conservative, and I'd rather take it very easy. In three or four weeks, when he's better, we'll ship him to Kentucky where the weather should be better."

Zayat said he also wanted Paynter to remain near his New Bolton Center veterinary team, located in Kennett Square, Pa.

"Fair Hill is very close to New Bolton, so that's one other reason," Zayat said.

Zayat has sent other horses to WinStar near Versailles, Ky., in the past, including Nehro and Bodemeister.

Regarding Paynter's plans after his rehab, Zayat said, "I want to be very careful and very clear about that. I want to manage my own expectations before anybody else's expectations. Although Paynter has defied the odds, has been a trooper, and has been a warrior, I want the horse to tell us that he's ready, I would love to see him back at the racetrack where he belongs, but I am not going to either rush him or send him if he's not ready. During his rehab, if he's telling me, 'No, I'm not ready' or 'I want to be a daddy' or 'I want to be a horse or be retired,' then let it be. It's important that we bring stars for the game, for the fans, and for all of us, but I'm going to let him tell us."

Earlier Friday, Zayat tweeted: "We are declaring VICTORY!!! Paynter is a rare breed of Thoroughbred horse that has the determination, strength and heart. Paynter has beaten colitis, laminitis, and a nasty abscess and today we are proud of our special colt."
Zayat's tweets revealed that the 3-year-old colt's last set of diagnostics, performed Friday, showed "his temp is normal, his blood work is perfect, his feet are sound and healthy, his lungs sound great. All in all we have a very happy and healthy horse. He has gained an additional 11 pounds in the last two days on top of the 24 pounds before that. his medical team is very confident of his full recovery."

Paynter underwent surgery Oct. 3 to remove a 35-centimeter area of abscessed tissue from his cecum, a pouch in the horse's large intestine. Paynter has been hospitalized since Aug. 26, when he was admitted to the Upstate Equine Medical Clinic in Schuylerville, N.Y., with fever and diarrhea that veterinarians diagnosed as colitis. He later showed early signs of laminitis in three legs, but he recovered from that with aggressive treatment.

Before that, Paynter first showed signs of illness two days after his July 29 Haskell victory, when he shipped to New Jersey's Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center with what his connections later said they believed was pneumonia. He developed diarrhea but that improved, and he returned to light training with Bob Baffert two weeks later, only to enter the Upstate Equine Medical Clinic Aug. 26.

Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Why would the DRF produce an article full of speculation and conjecture? Oh i know, its because they are smarter than those who think they should. @Horse Cent Why was there no definitive diagnosis given on the sick horses in Illinois?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Unless DRF as well as ALL VETS are given legal permission to converse, they cannot talk directly. Privacy laws prohibit that. The investigative process is up to racing. Drf quotes owner and trainer NOT VETS. Neither party are allowed.
russell More than 1 year ago
I agree that this horse should not race again. He's done enough and survived. If any animal or human loses over 20% of their body weight in a very short time, which Paynter did, they lose muscle.
Five More than 1 year ago
This is utterly ridiculous. There are so many posts/blogs from so many that think something stinks, re this Paynter case. Use of EPO and whatever, yet ALL my posts seeking some support to investigate Paynter's freaky Haskell and suspicious aftermath, DRF DELETED/REMOVED THEM. DRF, your publication is part of the problem in horse-racing, and probably will never be part of the solution. It is clear to me that the connection's spin on this ordeal was no more than cover-up. I support comments from Thomas Cook, Horse Cents, Terry Marshall, et al. I know, DRF will delete this one soon.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
This might help you Five. libel 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
United States Constitution.First Ammendment..freedom of speech..For example.One could say "I think or I believe" before stating their case backed by proven facts to support their valid beliefs. Completely legal.. For the record. I am glad Paynter is well. No matter how he got sick. And unless July records get scrutinized we may never know.. Vet records prob aren't kept for certain methods I assume.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Tom you are under the erroneous assumption that "free speech" gives you the right to say what ever you want. There are no "proven facts" given to back up some of the libel accusation that have been made on this site.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Robert. An opinion based on available factual information is free speach. Maybe you should have your attorney contact me and I'll explain it to them who in turn can explain it to you.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Horse Cent who would have guessed that you dont know the difference between free speech, libel, and slander. Why didnt you answer the question i posed at the top? Is it because it might blur your "facts".
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Always appreciate the incorrect use of quotations. My facts come from published articles on this site. Do the research. It's incredible that you actually don't know the difference between libel, slander and free speach. Have your attorney contact me and we'll have a good laugh, then he can explain it to you bobby. Was that a real question? I thought it was like the rhetorical question you asked then answered yourself. Sorry, I can't respond to a question with an opinion regarding horses I am unfamiliar with. And, your question is poorly formed, out of some weird context, and strange in that it has nothing to do with anything ever discussed regarding this horse. bobby, put the bottle down and go to bed.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Low grade temp spike two days after the race. Sent immediately to NJ clinic where he had blood work showing high red blood cell count. Given antibiotics and fluids. Baffert said he had diarrhea. More than a month later the slight of hand act begins and Zayat tries to turn that NJ time into something else and people believe it. BS.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
I was wondering if you could tell me why any top trainer would use EPO in this day of rants like yours and 24/7 obsession? And with the sport moving forward with drug testing and gotcha games? Why would would a top trainer endanger the health of a valuable Gr. 1 horse when if he kills the horse he loses the 10% of purse earnings, he loses the breeding rights, possibly loses the owner, gets a bad rep, the whispers begin (oh, wait...), he becomes a bullseye target...anyway, you lost me at wishing Baffert dead. Horses get sick. They are complex animals. There is no conspiracy here at all, nor was there any false reporting. And on that note, the reason DRF and others don't tell the story that you want to read is that there is no proof, there are no vet records they can access without permission, and there is no one willing to go on the record to be quoted as a viable witness to the evil doings that you have conjured in your venomous mind. It would be irresponsible journalism, and a legal liability. I think Blueskiesnrainbows worked the other day, and what evidence do you have that Bode had EPO? And while we're at it, is Game On Dude running on it, too, for the past three years?
denali1 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree with you more Barbara. It really does not make much sense for the suspiciousions. There really shouldn't be much talk of EPO or anything else until proven. I don't understand folks sometime maybe their insecurities on their part cause them to say such ignorant statements.
Robert More than 1 year ago
Why would they use EPO? Is that really a tough question to answer? Humans put blood builders in their own bodies to win bicycle races, is it really tough to believe guys would give them to horses? To the original poster's point, you're not going to get that kind of hard-hitting racing journalism from DRF. That really isn't its role. It acts like a promotional arm of the sport with every horse being a gallant champion and every trainer being a wonderful person. If you really don't think the use of blood builders is prevalent at the highest levels of racing, you've got your head in the sand. Anemic horses and heart arrhythmia are suddenly more common than ever before. Are we simply breeding horses prone to those issues?
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
You misunderstood. I wasn't asking if EPO helped a horse's performance. Why use EPO when A. the is extremely heightened awareness of illegal drug use in racehorses in 2012 and if caught, it's over for you at that level. B. the drug does harm horses so very valuable, high profile horses are not given drugs that will harm them.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
"high profile horses are not given drugs that will harm them"??? Are you serious? What do you think makes some of them high profile. As far as I can ascertain blood doping is not detectable by the time a sample is tested, and or I believe it's tested by a blood sample which is not taken by rule on race day. Go figure. As far as using these drugs which may harm them. They don't care. Millions invested and if the horse doesn't put together a bit of a resume then they aren't worth much. So take the chance, dope them and maybe they can carry their speed a distance and get a graded stakes win. If it ruins him just retire him and say it's a sore shoulder. Sound like any horses you are familiar with?
Russell Downing More than 1 year ago
Thank you for remining us about the truth. DRF only prints what they want us to read. So sad. So sad..
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Why don't you say what you Really mean!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Can't re enforce your valid and logical post here. However accurate it may be. So much chicken hearted articles since july constantly changing how Paynter first became ill. Typical of a cover up. Only way out is this end story of bacteria in cecum. Who truelly knows. But you have a great point..release the medical records back to beginning of july. Unless there is something to hide...like a suspicious rise in costs in july....
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Excellent news! So happy to hear Paynter is recovering from successful surgery. He certainly deserves rehab and 'spa' treatment at this point. I hope his connections continue to do what is best for Paynter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know a lot of people want to see Paynter retired and with good reason. But if he can make a full recovery, and win a big stakes, think of what a feel good, insirational story this would be. Overshadowed by his stablemate, then gets his shot on the big stage only to be run down at the end, then crushed the Haskell only to come down with these illnesses. How could anyone ever root against him. I hope he comes back strong and provides inspiration to thousands
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I might be a sap but it would bring tears to my eyes to see him win again. I would just be so happy.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
You need to go watch a movie such as Secretariat lol. All and all i respect and understand what a good story it could be. In this case its all about whats best for Paytner not whats best for us as fans of the sport. Give me a good reason on why it would best for Paytner to return to racing considering all he has been through. Any answer would be only for the benefit of the sport and our inspirations. The horse comes first folks!
denali1 More than 1 year ago
It seems like this colt is doing well which is extremely great news. One thing i must say in regards to Paytner. No matter how well this horse recovers in the long run. There is no way i would ever put him back in training to race. The reason being a horse that has been through severe digestive issues such as Paytner will always remain suspect. Why risk anything when he has overcome so much. Best of luck to you Paytner!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I think mebbe once he ships to Winstar that will be his home for a long time. He's gonna make a good damn Stallion given today's get.
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
This horse has made a miraculous recovery from near death. Don't look a 'gift horse' in the mouth... retire him to a life of leisure. He's more than earned it.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Great news, but If I were Zayat I would also be cautious. Paynter was in really, really bad shape not that long ago. Of I'll Have Another, Union Rags, Bodemeister and Paynter, the one with arguably the most justification for retirement, Paynter, is the one that hasn't been retired.
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
The hen doesn't cackle till the egg is laid.