Paynter Looking To Shine In The 2013 San Diego Handicap
Paynter Looking To Shine In The 2013 (GII) San Diego Handicap: Paynter looks to resurface to take on five rivals in the San Diego Handicap (GII) Saturday, July 27, 2013. This showdown takes place at the Del Mar Racetrack and is for 3 year-olds and up on the polytrack at a mile and a sixteenth. It’s considered a local prep for the Pacific Classic (GI) later this year at Del Mar.
Paynter, the Awesome Again colt, won his comeback race on June 14 in an allowance race at Befair Hollywood Park and completed the 7f in 1:21.86. The 4 year-old is making his first stakes start since winning last year’s Haskell Invitational before he was sidelined with an illness for the remainder of the year.
Paynter and stablemate Liaison, who is another candidate for this race, worked in tandem Sunday, July 21. Paynter caught Liaison in the stretch and they finished together with Paynter in a time of 59.40 and Liaison in 59.60. Liaison has won two graded stakes races this year. Bob Baffert trains both of these 4 year-old colts.
Trainer Peter Miller has confirmed 3 year-old Chief Havoc son of Giant’s Causeway as a starter Saturday in the san Diego Handicap. Chief Havoc last out won the the (GII) Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4th. His most recent work was a 5F bullet in 59.20 and he was the fastest of 83 horses clocked that day at the track.
My top picks for the 2013 San Diego Handicap are Paynter, Liaison and Chief Havoc. I like the Baffert duo here plus they break next to each other. There is nothing I would love better than to see Paynter fly home first; however, I have a sneaky suspicion he may not like the polytrack much, so I think Liaison may have a shot here. The front-running Chief Havoc is the lone 3 year-old taking on the elders for just the second time and it will be interesting to see if he goes to the lead like the Swaps or lets Paynter take it. If there is a speed dual out front, I think Liaison will come closing in the stretch. If Chief Havoc gets a head start and is speedy, maybe he can wire the field. If there’s a scratch I’d throw in Clubhouse Ride winner of the Californian beating Liaison in June at Hollywood Park. Of his last six races, this is only his second race where he won’t be looking at the back of Game On Dude down the stretch, so he could hit the board here.
Good luck and safe run. Don’t forget to double-check your tickets at the window.
The San Diego Handicap is the 8th race of 10 on Saturday with a post time of 5:40 pm PDT.
San Diego Handicap Post Positions and Odds
1 Kettlecorn 7/2 V.Espinoza/J.Sadler
2. Batti Man 15/1 B.Blanc/D.Hendricks
3. Paynter 9/5 R.Bejarano/B.Baffert
4. Liaison 3/1 M.Garcia/B.Baffert
5. Chief Havoc 5/1 E.Maldanado/P.Miller
6. Clubhouse Ride 4/1 J.Talamo/C.Lewis
1, 3, 2, 5, 4, 6
2013 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes