Updated on 08/02/2012 1:22PM

Paynter spikes fever, putting Travers appearance in jeopardy

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Paynter wins the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Paynter, who was an overpowering winner of the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Sunday, had an elevated temperature on Tuesday morning and, as a result, was not put on a scheduled flight back to California. His participation in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 25 is now in jeopardy, trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday morning at Del Mar.

Baffert said that instead of flying Paynter back to California, he will send him by van to Saratoga, likely toward the end of the week. Regardless, he will not make any plans until he sees how Paynter is doing.

“I’ve got to get him well first,” Baffert said.

Paynter’s situation is similar to that of Lookin At Lucky, who won the Haskell for Baffert in 2010 and spiked a temperature coming out of the race. As a result, he skipped the Travers and did not race again Oct. 2 of that year in the Indiana Derby, which he won. Lookin At Lucky then finished fourth in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic against older horses.

Baffert said if Paynter does miss the Travers, a race like the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 22 at Parx would be a possibility. Baffert already is planning on being at Parx that day with Eden’s Moon, his 3-year-old filly who is to be pointed to the $1 million Cotillion Stakes after competing next in the Del Mar Oaks.

Paynter’s win in the Haskell was his first stakes win. He had previously finished second in the Belmont Stakes to Union Rags. In the Haskell, Paynter received a Beyer Speed Figure of 108.

Baffert still plans on having Liaison in the Travers. He finished third in the Jim Dandy on Saturday at Saratoga and is remaining there to train.

Baffert’s only Travers win came with Point Given in 2001.

Paynter would be the likely favorite in the Travers, but if he does not run, favoritism might fall to Alpha, the Jim Dandy winner.

Nonios, who was second to Paynter in the Haskell, also was scheduled to fly back to California along with Paynter, but his travel also is being delayed owing to Paynter’s situation. Both 3-year-olds are at Monmouth Park. Nonios is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
How many of us remember the talented, gutsy but fragile Baffert trainee Irrefutable? This good looking Unbridled's Song colt was 5 years old when he died from overheating about 30 minutes after he ran a hard charging second in the 2011 Vernon Underwood. Irrefutable was a flashy frontrunner until Martin Garcia ran him to the ground in the Teddy Drone at Monmouth. It took the poor horse only 2 races to recover, he achieved his new career best Beyer speed figure when he ran second to Amazombie in the 2011 Ancient Title, finishing almost 5 lengths ahead of The Factor. If The Factor only has half the heart of Irrefutable, he would be one of the all time greats. The Factor is an annoying horse who almost always gives it up when hooked.
The Baron More than 1 year ago
All you conspiracy ridden dopers out there are stupid already. Horses that travel as much as Baffert puts them on these road shows - it is bound to happen. It has nothing to do with meds OK!! they just get stuff like children do at school - you can not protect them from every virus going around...just a fact of life for humans and horses. Yeah bringing in the FEDS is a great idea - NOT!! They can't balance our budget and now you want them to control horse racing ?? Really?? I trained horses for many years - it is way harder to fix a race than you think - trust me I know first hand. Ray who are these cheating jockeys you have made up in your head?? They race for plenty of money straight up and trainers are not stupid - they know if this was happening. Hollendorfer ripped on Ron Hansen off of a horse once at Golden Gate for stiffing him - you know what happened to Hansen and he was crooked for sure??- he ended up DOA in the San Mateo river - death cause unknown. The days of the Mafia of setting up fixed races are long gone - it is not worth it as there is too much to do to fix a race and too many people to involve. AND if they fixed a race it certainly would not be the Haskell that is for sure. You are paranoid and need to be betting on cock fights!!
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Maybe the fever bodemeister,paynter and numerous other top horses are prone to lately is a side effect from the meds,just saying.racing is just plain broken in this country until the Feds come in and arrest 5 or6 jockeys and a couple of trainers as examples to all the other cheats this game is just doomed,it's like jai alai and going the same route. Racing is the only legalized gambling that allows rampant cheating with no serious punishment,if a casino was rigging the game the Feds would shut it down,yet we have inside totalizer employee mischief,wrong takeout rate by nyra ,dopping trainers,cheating jockeys and it's business as usual,Saratoga has been a joke so far not even the increased purses have stopped the nonsense.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Isn't this what happened to Bodeymeister ??
unmarx1 More than 1 year ago
what bleeds that a thoro that runs 1 1/8 m. and has a similar race 4 weeks later requires massive anti-bleeding,anti-inflam, and painkillers? a fit human can run 13 miles and run another very fast 13 miles 4 weeks later without meds. and didn't horses 40 yrs ago run similar times to today's thoros without these massive meds? I don't get it at all. Mammals have great natural healing powers.How have they survived in nature for millions of years without meds ? Why ? Why ? Why all the meds ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Europe doesn't allow drugs and their horses are better than ours. One day America will ban all drugs.
The Baron More than 1 year ago
Yeah - out law meds and you will have 3 horse fields and that will make the sport a complete joke. Humans do not run as hard as a TB that travels the speed of a car!! Europe is another whole deal - they train with meds and hope their horses will make it in a race.....Lasix & Bute are a necessary evil to keep horses that want to race - able to .....Move to Europe if you don't like American racing and try to read a Racing form in Italian or German!!
Michael Infurna More than 1 year ago
Didn't Bodemeister have a fever 2-3 weeks ago?? Why can't he make Travers??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm thinking Baffert doesn't want to send Bode into the 1 1/4 mile Travers off a big layoff.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Paynter only spiked a slight temperature. Options: 1) No medication to treat the fever. Hope that the slightly high temperature will just go away by itself. If this works out, their specialist veterinarian can go ahead and give Paynter massive doses of anti-bleeding medications, anti-inflammatory, painkillers, and other good stuff. All this good stuff have to be given to the horse 7-21 days before Travers saturday in order for him to test below threshold level on race day. If it works out this way, they will run him in the Travers. 2) antibiotics and other medications to treat the fever. It means that their specialist veterinarians will not be able to give Paynter massive doses of anti-bleeding medications, anti-inflammatory, painkillers, and other good stuff for about 14 days due to high risk drug interactions with the antibiotics and other meds used to treat fever. If this happens, there is no way that the horse will test below threshold limits on race day. Therefore they will not run Paynter in the Travers, they will have to target a race 14 days or more later. I am not pointing fingers at Bob Baffert. This is just the way it is. This situation is true for almost all trainers. I am just a simple horseplayer. I don't care how they get to the starting gate, I will just bet accordingly based on past performances, additional information and creative interpretations.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
One other option for Paynter if he recovers quickly is to wait a week and run in the Woodward on Sept. 1 (Saturday after the Travers). That would probably be what I would point for provided he has recovered fast enough.
Taso More than 1 year ago
Optimizer is starting to look good for the Travers
Josh Eckels More than 1 year ago
Thats's a track he might get up on @ a big price!!! Go team Lukas!!!
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Did any of you ever go to school. The abreviation of California is Ca.
Tiny Montgomery More than 1 year ago
The Urban Dictionary defines Cali as "A word for California used by no one who has ever lived in California".
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
You go, girl!!
Tiny Montgomery More than 1 year ago
Looks like I might have to change my alias back to Bubba
unmarx1 More than 1 year ago
It's a bust. 2 B's in abbreviation. ever go to school ?
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Would you shmucks quit saying cali . Cali is in South America you bunch of twittering twits.