Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was content with Paynter’s effort in
the San Diego and mystified by Liaison, his other starter in the race.
“Paynter ran a great race,” Baffert said. “I can’t be disappointed.
He ran hard the whole way and never gave it up. I don’t think he liked
the track that much but he’s such a great horse he kept trying all the
It was the second start in a comeback from a near-fatal illness for
Paynter. The 4-year-old colt was so keyed up to run that it took two
handlers all they could do to keep him in control in the paddock before
the race, but he appeared to settle down when jockey Rafael Bejarano
mounted up for the race..
“He was quiet all the way over, but then he saw the crowd in the
paddock and it freaked him out,” Baffert said. “I think he was a bit too
Liaison finished fifth of six.
“We were disappointed in Liaison. I thought he’d run a big race. He
made a little move along the backstretch, but at the three-eighths pole
he was done. I don’t know what happened with him, I’ve got to figure it
Baffert said he would keep an open mind about a next race for
Paynter. When asked specifically if the TVG Pacific Classic was still
under consideration, Baffert said:
“I won’t know that for another couple of weeks.”