At the half-way point of the 2013 racing season, Zayat Stables has four horses that could make their mark on the 2013 Breeders' Cup Championships to be held Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park.
The group is led by Paynter, the Bob Baffert trained colt whose comeback story from illness and laminitis last year has been well-documented. The winner of the 2012 Haskell (G1) has become a fan favorite following his courageous battle with the serious health issues. Paynter returned from his nearly year-long layoff on June 14 at Hollywood Park, easily winning an allowance race with a remarkable 114 Beyer Speed Figure. The 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) is the ultimate goal, while the San Diego H. (G2), July 27 at Del Mar, is a more immediate goal.
Fast Bullet, also trained by Baffert, is a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) following his dominating win in the True North H. (G2) June 8 at Belmont Park. The speedy son of Speightstown has lost only once in his five races, that coming in last year's Breeders' Cup.
Veteran Justin Phillip could join Fast Bullet in the Sprint. He was runner-up in the True North. Prior to that, the 5-year-old trained by Steve Asmussen won the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Prayer for Relief, the final Baffert trainee, is a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). The 5-year-old recently took the Cornhusker H. (G3) at Prairie Meadows and has been on the board in all of his 2013 stakes starts.