Grade I-winning millionaire Paynter, whose story of perseverance while recovering from a life-threatening illness a year ago captivated the horse world, will begin his next career in 2014 as a stallion at Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Campaigned by Zayat Stables, Paynter is on track to compete in the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif., and the 4-year-old Awesome Again colt is set to retire at the end of the season.
"When we set our goals for 2013, one of them was to get Paynter into the WinStar stallion barn," said Elliott Walden, WinStar president and CEO, in a release. "I look at our stallions in North America today and I see real dirt pedigrees slipping away from us. WinStar remains focused on the Classics and striving to bring home stallions that excel at running around two turns and on the dirt. Paynter’s pedigree and race record epitomizes the classic American dirt horse. Who knows how good he could have been after running a 1 on the Ragozins in last year’s Haskell. I am elated we got him. He was our first round draft pick."
Trained by Bob Baffert, Paynter broke his maiden impressively first time out at Santa Anita, winning a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race handily by 4 1/4 lengths. In his second lifetime start, he faced eventual Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner I’ll Have Another and a field full of seasoned 3-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), finishing a respectable fourth despite bobbling a