Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates
The much-anticipated return of 2012 Haskell Invitational Stakes winner Paynter exceeded expectations as he overwhelmed seven challengers on Friday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The recovery of Paynter from deadly battles with laminitis and colitis following his victory in the 2012 Haskell was voted by fans the 2012 NTRA Moment of the Year. His 4 1/2-length romp in his comeback might put him right back in the driver’s seat for that award in 2013. “Paynter” and the Twitter hashtag his owner Zayat Stables has popularized, #PowerUpPaynter, both were trending nationally and “Paynter” was trending globally on Twitter, a testament to his massive fan base.
Paynter hustled to the front under Rafael Bejarano in the seven-furlong race on Friday, seized command on the backstretch, and shook free approaching the stretch. He accelerated effortlessly for a commanding victory and improved to four wins in sevenstarts.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trains Paynter for Zayat Stables. In addition to winning the Haskell in 2012, Paynter also finished second in the Belmont Stakes.
A bay colt by Awesome Again, Paynter is out of multiple stakes producer Tizso, a full-sister (same dam [mother] and sire [father]) to Horse of the Year and two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow. Paynter also is a very close relative to 2013 Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow, who also is by Awesome Again and is out of another full-sibling to Tizso.
Paynter also won the 2012 Vox Populi Award, a prize given by the connections of the late two-time Horse of the Year Secretariat.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
VIDEO REPLAY OF PAYNTER'S COMEBACK WIN