Paynter - Belmont Stakes 2012 Expert Handicapping Breakdown, Preview, and Free Predictions
Bob Baffert hoped he would have a runner in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, but even he is surprised that its his improving Paynter instead of superstar colt Bodemeister. After two close second place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes the connections for Bodemeister decided to give him much needed rest. On Saturday June 9, 2012 Baffert will lead Paynter into the Belmont Stakes paddock with a longshot chace of upsetting the triple crown efforts of I'll Have Another.
Paynter has not run in the first two legs of triple crown but is familiar with I'll Have Another. The two squared off in the Santa Anita Derby with Paynter running 4th behind I'll Have Another. Since the Santa Anita Derby defeat Paynter has been on the improve with two nice races. Second place finish in the Derby Trial (98 Byer) and Allowance win (106 Byer) on Preakness day at Pimlico.
Paynter has been the buzz horse heading into Belmont Stakes with several leading handicapper tabbing this colt as most logical longshot horse. Originally thought Paynter would be 15-1 or so but all this buzz will most likely have Paynter morning line odds at 10-1.
Trainer Bob Baffert has had high expectations for Paynter but not even he could imagine that this colt would be running in the Belmont Stakes. This lightly raced colt has only went post-ward 4 times with maiden breaking win in mid Febuary 2012. After big maiden win Baffert and connections took a shot in the Santa Anita Derby but inexperience cost him better showing. Since then Paynter might be most improved three year old colt, evidence of that improvement is his two big Byer Speed figures he has run. Baffert is expecting another step forward which should give Paynter a chance against the great class horses in this years Belmont Stakes.
Who will ride Paynter in the Belmont Stakes has not been made official yet but most believe Mike Smith will ride back after impressive win last time up. Hall of fame credentials speaks of Mike Smith's ability but not sure he is best suited jockey for Paynter. Think Paynter will find himself on the lead with little to no other speed in this years Belmont Stakes, saying that we would love to see jockey's known for their front end ability. Final announcement will me made within 7 days of race by Trainer Bob Baffert.
Breeding suggests that Paynter should run better as the distances get longer. Sire Awesome Again was unbelievable colt who won the 98 BC Classic at mile and 1/4. Damn Tiszo is not nearly as accomplished but bloodlines of Northern Dancer suggest distance will not be a problem on Damns side either.
Paynter Race History
|5/19/12||PIM||Allowance||1st||1 1/16 mile||1:42.80||106|
|4/28/12||CD||Derby Trial||2nd||1 mile||1:35.20||93|
|4/7/12||SA||Santa Anita Derby||4th||1 1/8 mile||1:47.88||89|
|2/18/12||SA||Maiden Sprint||1st||5 1/2 furlongs||1:02.98||79|
Love horses on front end as the races go longer, believe Paynter will be on the lead in the Belmont Stakes, then it just comes down to a question of class. Son of Awesome Again is coming out the last two races as that pure speed and endurance has looked very good. Paynter looked great in only official work at Belmont running bullet 59 second work. Hopefully all the buzz doesn't ruin the odds for Paynter, think fair price on Paynter is about 12-1. We will definitely have this colt in all of our exactas and trifectas, might even have a win wager here depending on price.