Updated on 09/24/2012 2:41PM

Zayat: Paynter has improved significantly

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Paynter, the winner of this year’s Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, has displayed no signs of developing laminitis and is showing significant improvement in overcoming a severe case of colitis, according to the 3-year-old colt’s owner, Ahmed Zayat.

Zayat provided details of a veterinary report on Paynter through his Twitter account on Friday, including the results of X-rays that showed “significant sole growth” in the areas that were thought to be in danger of the onset of laminitis. Zayat also said in the tweets that the horse is “sound” and that doctors are “optimistic that his feet will not be performance limiting.”

In a phone interview, Zayat said that the horse continues to be treated for a stubborn case of colitis that has see-sawed in severity over the past month. However, as of Friday afternoon, Paynter had no fever and was “happy and comfortable,” Zayat said.

Paynter is still being treated for colitis and has been fitted with special foam boots that are meant to prevent the onset of laminitis, a highly serious disease affecting a horse’s ability to place weight on its feet.

“We caught it at the onset,” Zayat said. “He had not really gotten full-blown laminitis. He never had any rotation or sinking [of the coffin bone], so he never really had it.”

The improvement in Paynter’s condition could mean that the horse is closer to returning to training. The colt was admitted to an equine medical center in late August after developing a fever and being diagnosed with colitis, a digestive ailment.

“I can’t fool myself and give myself hope that he’s out of the woods and as good as new,” Zayat said. “But the less complications he has the better chance he has to heal.”