Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Zayat Stables' Paynter will make his final start Saturday in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic before being retired to WinStar Farm.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Paynter will start the 1 1/4-mile Classic from post 2 with Martin Garcia in the saddle.
"Paynter is a horse like no other. Win or lose Saturday, he goes down as one of the greatest of all time in my mind," said owner Ahmed Zayat. "The fact that he's even competing in the Breeders' Cup is miraculous. He's such a fighter and natural talent. Combine that with his gene pool and awesome race record, I'm excited about Paynter's chances to be a leading sire."
This year, Paynter was second in the San Diego Handicap to Kettle Corn at Del Mar on July 27 and shipped to Saratoga for the Woodward Stakes on Aug. 31 where he finished fifth and last as the 3-2 favorite behind Alpha. Most recently, the 4-year-old colt was second to Mucho Macho Man in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28.
As a 3-year-old, Paynter finished second in the Belmont Stakes to Union Rags after setting most of the pace. After winning the Haskell at Monmouth Park, he developed an infection and was unable to race the remainder of the year.
Paynter has won four of 10 career starts for $1,101,924.
"When we set our goals for 2013, one of them was to get Paynter into the WinStar stallion barn," said Elliott Walden, WinStar President & CEO. "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."