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Paynter Wins the Haskell!

Team Zayat finished second in all three jewels of the Triple Crown, with Bodemeister in the Derby and Preakness, and then with Paynter in the Belmont Stakes.  All it took was a trip to their home state of New Jersey to get in the winner’s circle for a major grade one race for the three year-olds. 
Owner Ahmed Zayat could not make it to the Haskell but he sent his children Justin and Ashley to represent the Zayat family. Justin Zayat said, “I was born and grew up in New Jersey and I have never seen one of our horses win a really big race. I always had to watch on television from home.”
The Haskell began with Gemologist rushing to the lead on the rail with Paynter sitting to the outside a length behind the lead. Gemologist was running hard the whole way with the first quarter going in :23.88. Down the backstretch Nonios began to apply some pressure to Gemologist. Three quarters went in 1:11.37 and Paynter began to make a very relaxed move and at the same time Gemologist began to struggle.
Midway in the turn Paynter took control and according to the Daily Racing Form chart, “responded when roused in the upper stretch and kicked clear under urging.” The final margin of victory was three and three quarters lengths and the final time was 1:48.87.
Of course this was trainer Bob Baffert's sixth win in the Haskell and his third win in a row.  He has won with Point Given 2001, War Emblem 2002, Roman Ruler 2005, Lookin At Lucky 2010, Coil 2011, and now with Paynter.  Baffert also was not in attendance, as he has been scaling back on the stresses of travel since his heart attack in March. Reached by phone Baffert said, “When you win they always feel like the first one. They’re all exciting and they never get old. When he turned for home, he (Paynter) just pinned his ears and took off.”
Baffert was asked to compare Paynter’s Haskell victory to his other winners, “Paynter is one of those horses (who can handle what happens in the race). They are all different and unique in their own way. He kind of grinds it out. He can go longer and handle a mile and a quarter. He’s tough. He can handle what you throw at him. He’s a lot like Point Given.”
Throughout the race Justin Zayat was confident with the way Paynter was running and he thought they were going to win as their horse took the lead in the turn, but he said that he couldn’t help but worry about all those second place finishes, “Thinking not again, not again”.
Sent off as the even money favorite by the New Jersey crowd of 35,253, Paynter and the Zayat family had the home field advantage of Monmouth Park.  Finally, it was no more second places for the Zayats thanks to Paynter and his effortless off the pace run. 


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Older Comments about Paynter Wins the Haskell!...

I was still surprised about the last of a performance from Dullahan. Time to get that horse back to the synth/grass.
I didnt not think that Paynter would even be in the top 3, but horse racing is unpredictible
UPDATE: Paynter got a 108 BSF!
I went htrough the exact same thinking with Paynter, but he ran a fantastic race and the Zayats were terrific after the race!
Before this race, I had an unexplainable doubt about Paynter. After this race all doubts were washed away. He is the real deal. I just hope he races older horses before a crack at the BCC (if that is the plan for him).
Paynter to Travers and Bode to King's Bishop.
Well that's disappointing. What's the worst that could happen? They finish 1-2 in whatever race they were in together?
Good to know Andy Scoggin. So I wonder which will be pointed to the Travers
Baffert/Zayat connections said that Bode and Paynter would not be meeting on the track.
Very huge win, like Brian said. I'm ready to see Bode and Paynter duke it out now.
Huge performance today by Paynter, and I am definitely not giving up on Nonios (bred to improve with experience and distance.)

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