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Paynter Impresses Baffert in BC Classic Drill

Paynter, Bob Baffert’s “other horse,” worked five furlongs in company Monday morning for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, going in a minute flat under jockey Martin Garcia. Workmate Den’s Legacy was given the identical time.

“He went awesome,” Baffert said of Paynter, who survived life-threatening ailments after winning the Grade I Haskell Invitational in 2012. “He really worked great today. In fact, both horses worked well.”

Game On Dude, the likely Classic favorite trained by Baffert, is scheduled to work Tuesday at Santa Anita for the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles on Nov. 2. Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup races will be taken a week from today, Oct. 21.

Two Breeders’ Cup candidates trained by Steve Asmussen also worked on Santa Anita’s main track Monday, Justin Phillip (Sprint, five furlongs in 1:01, breezing), and Unbridled’s Note (Turf Sprint, five furlongs in 1:00.20). Argentine-bred Ever Rider (Marathon) worked four furlongs in 48.80 for Maria Munoz.

John Henry Stakes winner Indy Point worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in 1:13.60. “He couldn’t look better,” trainer Richard Mandella said.

Breeders’ Cup candidates have special dispensation to work on turf Mondays and Fridays, rather than Santa Anita’s normal turf work days of Thursday and Saturday.

Mandella said Zenyatta Stakes winner Beholder is scheduled to breeze “Tuesday or Wednesday” as the two-year-old filly champion of 2012 prepares for the $2 million Distaff on Nov. 1.

Mike Smith appears loaded for bear in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 1 and 2. Agent Brad Pegram has the Hall of Fame jockey booked on Game On Dude in the Classic; Royal Delta in the Distaff; Points Offthebench in the Sprint; Little Mike in the Turf; Fascinating in the Juvenile Fillies; and Mizdirection in the Turf Sprint.


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Pleased as punch with Paynter report from last remaining boots in BB's barn.

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