Paynter works bullet for Haskell
Updated: July 23, 2012, 4:47 PM ETBrisnet
Belmont Stakes runner-up Paynter posted his fourth consecutive bullet work on Monday, motoring six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 at Del Mar, as he eyes Sunday's Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth. The Bob Baffert trainee, who worked in company with stablemate Liaison, turned in the fastest of nine moves at the distance on Polytrack. Liaison clocked the second-best time of 1:12 2/5 and is bound for Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. A late developing son of Awesome Again, out of a full sister to Hall of Famer Tiznow, Paynter was unraced as a juvenile. The Zayat Stables colt romped in his debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita in February, and stretching out dramatically for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, he finished a promising fourth to future Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero I'll Have Another in just his second start. Paynter took a step forward when runner-up in the Grade 3 Derby Trial in the slop at Churchill Downs, and improved again to run away with an allowance on the Preakness undercard. He nearly pulled off a wire-to-wire victory in the June 9 Belmont, only to be denied in the final strides by Union Rags. Since then, Paynter has been tearing up the worktab in Southern California. In his first work back on July 4 at Santa Anita, he sizzled five-eighths in a bullet :58 3/5, and drilled six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 at the same venue one week later. After shipping down to Del Mar, Paynter worked the same distance in 1:13 1/5 on July 18, and went even faster Monday. Plans call for Paynter to fly to the Jersey Shore Thursday, sharing the plane with Haskell rival Nonios, who also recorded his final major move at Del Mar Monday. With jockey Corey Nakatani aboard, Nonios negotiated six furlongs in 1:15 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Owned by G.B. Smith Jr., the Pleasantly Perfect colt captured his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park, and was most recently a late-running second in the Grade 2 Swaps on July 4. Fellow Southern Californian Handsome Mike, who is trained by Doug O'Neill, has different travel plans. The Scat Daddy colt is scheduled to leave Southern California on Tuesday on a flight to New York and will be vanned to Monmouth. Handsome Mike represents the same connections as I'll Have Another. Owned by J. Paul Reddam, he will be ridden in the Haskell by Mario Gutierrez.