Paynter favorite in 6-horse Haskell

BY foxsports • July 27, 2012

Paynter is the 3-2 favorite in a six-horse field for Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

The lightly raced 3-year-old colt finished second by a neck to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes in his last start.

Paynter, who will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, drew the No. 3 post on Thursday as he attempts to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his third straight Haskell win and sixth overall.

Dullahan, third in the Kentucky Derby and seventh in the Belmont, is the co-second choice at 3-1 with Gemologist, returning from a bruised foot after finishing 16th in the Derby.

Also entered were Nonios (7-2), Handsome Mike (7-2) and Stealcase (8-1).

''I'm just happy to have a horse fit enough to run, and be the favorite,'' said Baffert, who won last year's Haskell with Coil, and the 2010 running with Lookin At Lucky.

Baffert had been pointing Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister for the Haskell, but a fever scuttled those plans.

Dale Romans trains Dullahan, who was the beaten favorite in the Belmont after Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another was retired the day before the race with a leg injury.

''I am a huge fan of Paynter's,'' said Romans. ''He's the horse to beat and will be out there running. We'll have to run him down.''


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