Belmont Stakes 2012 Contenders: Paynter

Horse: Paynter
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Pedigree: By Awesome Again out of a Cee's Tizzy mare (Tizso)
Career Record: 4-2-1-0
Career Earnings: $152,224
Notable Races: G1-Santa Anita Derby (4th); G3-Derby Trial (2nd)

Can He Win The Belmont Stakes?

If you are looking for a horse that could upset I'll Have Another, Paynter might be your colt. A lightly raced horse trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Zayat Stables (the same connections as Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister), Paynter looked fantastic when he won an allowance race at Pimlico on Preakness Day. That field was much weaker than the one he'll face at Belmont Park on Saturday, but this colt's talent is plain for everyone to see. Three races back, he finished 3 ¾ lengths behind I'll Have Another in the G1-Santa Anita Derby, and the California 3-year-olds have been the best of the bunch in 2012.

If there are concerns about Paynter's chances in the Belmont, they are these: the bottom half of his pedigree is a little light on stamina and his running style may compromise his chances to get a mile and a half.

Paynter utilized a gate-to-wire running style in that outstanding performance at Pimlico three weeks ago. That may work when running a mile and a sixteenth, but it's a lot hard when a horse is trying to get 12 furlongs. Additionally, the presence of horses with speed to his inside and outside, it's unlikely that Paynter will have it easy in the early stages.

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