12/30/2012 6:26PM

Santa Anita: Paynter back in Baffert's barn

Nikki Sherman Photography
Paynter, who survived a two-month battle with colitis and laminitis, has returned to Bob Baffert's barn at Santa Anita and will resume training soon.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Paynter, the Grade 1 winner who battled colitis and laminitis in the second half of 2012, returned to trainer Bob Baffert’s stable at Santa Anita on Saturday evening.

A 4-year-old in 2013, Paynter will resume training this winter for an intended return to racing. Just having Paynter back in the barn after two serious ailments has been an inspiration, Baffert said on Sunday

“I can’t believe he’s alive,” Baffert said. “He’s really tough, mentally tough. He’s a tough sonofagun.”

Owned by Zayat Racing, Paynter has not started since winning the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in late July. Shortly after that race, he fell ill and was in serious condition in late summer, first with colitis and then laminitis. Through the fall, his condition improved.

Baffert said on Sunday that Paynter’s weight dropped as low as 908 pounds during his illness, and has rebounded to 1,109. Paynter will be walked at Baffert’s stable in coming weeks before resuming any racetrack training.

Last week, Paynter was named the winner of the Vox Populi award, administered by the owners of the late two-time Horse of the Year Secretariat.  The award recognizes a horse’s achievements and ability to gain attention for Thoroughbred racing.

Paynter has won 3 of 6 startS and $952,224. Aside from the Haskell, he was second in the Belmont Stakes in June.

mikey More than 1 year ago
Unlike that poor grey horse Paynter will be insured for a lot of $$$$$.I hope he will not end up the same way Tweebster did.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Correcting my note in a buried reply post in this contentious thread that graded stakes winner Mythical Power is at stud now in a backwater. No. He ended up better off than that after being claimed last spring/summer for 12.5. He is at War Horse Place in Lexington standing for $7500. While that may be stretching reality of an appropriate stud fee, I know he has a good home and will see a few mares.
Chris F More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows that a horse can start a race perfectly sound and finish with either and injury or without its life. All living creatures can sustain injury, but that doesn't mean they should stop living or serving a purpose. Trainers like Baffert are not butchers, despite the one person who keeps posting otherwise. I would like to see this person train thousands of horses and never incur breakdowns. It's the undeniable, unavoidable aspect of the game, but the game must go on. Life must go on, and it would be terrific if the finger-pointing would stop and energies were spent focusing on advancements in treatment and prevention.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
WHY DOES DRF MANAGEMENT LET PEOPLE LIKE BARON MARK JOHN JERRY TALK NONSENSE HERE. They are completely clueeless and only chime in when they can whine. Obviously one of the ones I beat the hell out of in grade school everyday, took their lunch money and spent it on candy. Waaaaaaaah Waaaaaaaaah. You guys are the worst kind of human beings. Please explain why Baffert would want to harm him WAY OF LIFE??? Here is a great idea. Go get a syndicate and buy Paynter and see if your newly formed corporation would want to NOT race or NOT BREED him. Dopes!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Sound like your panties r in a knot
Mark More than 1 year ago
Btw i am not the Mark who posted in this thread earlier. Just here.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
And you continue to expose yourself.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Ceck the comments to(Flashback misses work)12/28. Now that,s whining.
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
Just read, Tweebster was put down. A note to those talking drops to claiming, remember John Henry? Even after he became a win machine he was dropped as low as 20k because he had a bad run. Its the game. Its a brutal game. If a horse is gelded, he will be raced as long as possible.
Rachel Harding More than 1 year ago
Tweebster was 5 years old and a stallion
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
And worth as much as a gelding. The other equation is you can only run them where they belong IF a track writes a race close enough to wherever that is. Would have been much nicer if the owner, Kaleem Shah, had just retired the pretty gray horse and let him go on to a second career... it isn't as though Baffert wants claimers taking up his stalls.
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
Tweebster was a gelding, check equibase.
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
Tweebster (KY) GR/RO, G, foaled May 3, 2007 ( Tapit - H. R. H. Doodle, by Open Forum)
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
Bob Baffert and every trainer does what the owners of the horses want them to do. Trainers do their best to care for the horse. The trainers who havethe high number of breakdownsare the ones at lower level venues. They get the low level claimers and race once every week or two. Those horses have a high rate of injury simply because they race so often. I have seen horses in my years of wagering who have raced as many as 50 races in a year. Some who are 5 years old with over a 100 races on the record. Sadly, Tweebster started at a low level and was dropped back to a low level. Owners run their horses to pay the bills, not all owners are super wealthy. Horse ownership is a very pricey hobby.
Hadrian Marcus More than 1 year ago
I'm pretty sure Tweebster's owner, Kaleem Shah, isn't one of those owners that worries much about paying the bills. He founded Calnet and has made over $5,000,000 in purses. Shah and Baffert are both wealthy men....who should have done the right thing by this horse. Karma..........
Sally More than 1 year ago
So just because the horse's conneections are rich they are supposed to peform at a top level?
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I think that Hadrian said 'they should have done the right thing by the horse'.
Rusty Hefner More than 1 year ago
People are entitled their own opinons. And simply because they differ from yours makes them no less valid. You've replied to many posts......we get that you are very pro-Baffert. I am of the opinion that when a horse earns a quarter of a million dollars...he deserves a softer landing than to be thrown into a claimer and subsequently euthanized. You clearly see it as all part of the game. RIP Tweebster.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Fair post, but would you feel differently if he had broken down in an allowance or stakes race?
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
I would love to see more owners, especially those like Shah Kaleem, send horses to the farm. I do not know how long you have played the horses or been following them. There was an owner named John Franks who passed away over 10 years ago. He was also a breeder. At most times he had as many as 600 horses in training. I am not saying its right or wrong, just how owners in this sport do things. I saw many times when Mr Franks trainers would drop a horse who had won graded stakes in the past down to low level claiming. He once said, "we race them but never fall in love with them." One horse he had, Three Wonders has become a good sire, he was dropped down as low as 20,000 before he finally won a graded stakes at age 5 i think. Then he was retired to stud. In the case of Tweebster, his works showed no sign of problems and when he warmed up before the race yesterday, he looked great. The track did have a bit of moisture in it, maybe that was part of the problem. I hate seeing a horse injured but it happens and i have seen some aweful sights. R.I.P. Tweebster.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
With all the hate directed at trainers like Baffert and Pletcher you would think they have horses breakdown left and right when in reality these trainers rarely have horses breakdown during a race. I'd like to see a list of all the Baffert or Pletcher runners who broke down during and race and had to be euthanized. I'm sure its a short list. I saw a Graham Motion horse breakdown terribly at Churchill this spring at the 8th pole. Does that mean Motion purposefully ran a hurt horse? No. I remember Pine Island breaking down and falling in the Distaff. Does that mean Shug purposefully ran a hurt horse? No. You don't reach the top in this business by not taking good care of your horses because horses who aren't well taken care of don't run well either. So even if these guys were only in it for money they would still need to take great care of their horses because if they didn't it would be bad for business even if they didn't care about the horse.
scott More than 1 year ago
Well said.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Such precise logic. Strange to read it here, but thanks for the respite;-)
Hadrian Marcus More than 1 year ago
RIP Tweebster. You deserved better treatment from those around you. Here's hoping karma prevails....
Scott Maier More than 1 year ago
Here is a novel idea to all the naysayers suggesting a return to the races is a bad idea for Paynter... 1. Go to a yearling sale. 2. Spend $325,000 on any horse flesh you see fit. 3. Do what you like with your recent purchase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is not data that says horses of previous stakes caliber when dropped way down in class will break down. Mr Baffert would not run a horse who he knew was subject to a breakdown if run. The vets on track that look the horses over didn't see a problem. Mr. Baffert takes great care of his horses. You cannot make broad claims on a few misunderstood drops in class. Champion last year, 12,500 this year would you claim the horse? No one is forced to put in a claim. There are no guarantees in life, despite the best care. Good luck with Payter, which the article was about. RD
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
This was a horse that took 8 tries to break his Maiden... Two starts later he's in a grade 1 against Game on Dude... He still had nearly all of his conditions! Hey Beyer, here's your White Maned Wizard. That whole barn horses and humans(?) must be loaded.
Sally More than 1 year ago
Also, horse take bad steps and thats the end of em. Barbaro, Go For Wand, Ruffian, those horses were all taken care of before the race and look what happened.
Sally More than 1 year ago
Sorry that comment was intended for another post