Paynter one of 13 pre-entered for $5M Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)

Posted to: Paynter Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Paynter's named was called as part of a 13-horse for the $5 million Classic (G1) contingent on Wednesday when the Breeders' Cup officials announced the entries for the 30th running of the year-end championships, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

Paynter's near-death travails over the past year have been well-documented, but the 4-year-old has bounced back in remarkable fashion to be poised for a run at America's richest race. Recently, his trainer Bob Baffert reflected on the colt's last race, a second-place finish in the Sept. 28 Awesome Again S. (G1) at Santa Anita.

"He's doing really well and I liked his race in the Awesome Again (stakes)," Baffert said, "Even though he was second he was trapped inside and took a lot of dirt. But he never gave up and came running at the end. With all the speed in there, he should come running again; I think he moved way forward off that race."

The Classic drew a stellar field that includes the first four finishers from the 2012 Classic, as well as Paynter's Baffert-trained stablemate, Game On Dude. Paynter will be ridden by Martin Garcia, who was aboard in the Awesome Again.

Paynter has had two works since his last start, a stellar five furlong move in one minute flat on Oct. 14, and once again on Oct. 21, but heavy fog at Santa Anita prevented the clockers from registering an official time.

"Paynter worked good today," Justin Zayat tweeted afterward. "Finished up nice. Didn't get clocked due to fog.”

Final entries and post positions will be drawn on Monday, Oct. 28. The Classic is scheduled to run at 8:35 p.m. EDT.