Countless fans and the entire racing world have eyes on 4-year-old Paynter as he consistently progresses from last year’s serious illness and dangerous abdominal surgery. The brilliant horse is working on his comeback as he turns in a three furlong breeze on February 26 at :36 flat, and four furlongs in :50 1/5 on March 5 under jockey Martin Garcia.
Says Paynter’s owner Ahmed Zayat, "Physically, the horse has zero issues. Most significantly, in terms of attitude, weight, and coat color, he's a happy horse. So many vets have checked him at Santa Anita since he's been there; we constantly keep monitoring his health. He's been photographed almost every day and you can see that, doing what he's doing, he's loving it and he's happy. You would have never known this horse was so sick."
The last time Paynter raced was the Grade I Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 29.
It is expected that he will enter a regular workout schedule to condition for a yet-undetermined race. Zayat is structuring a plan based on Baffert’s concurrence.
"My goal for this guy is to win the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic. If anybody deserves it and can go the distance it would be him. It would be a heck of a story for racing, for us, and for the fans," says Zayat.
Zayat also muses about Paynter, “It's thrilling to see him doing well back in training; it's an absolute miracle by any kind of measure."
Paynter showed strength, incredible resilience and amazing courage during his perilous medical confinement and rehabilitation. The racing world and fans wish Paynter good health and continued safety.
Source: Blood Horse
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