Horse Racing: Paynter’s Miracle Comeback

I am going to start this blog about a miraculous comeback, by an amazing horse with a verse from the Bible. The verse is well known, and I think it applies to this story.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 (KJV)

My readers know the story. The majority of folks in the racing industry know the story. I have written so many blogs about the story, that I am sure my editor is ready to strangle me.

The 2012 Haskell winner, and 2012 Belmont Stakes runner up, Paynter fell ill in late July, 2012 right after winning the Haskell. He was sick with colitis, which could have killed him. He then had to fight the beginnings of laminitis in 3 of his four feet. Laminitis is a deadly hoof disease that killed Secretariat.

Paynter was at death’s door, as most folks know. The gallant horse, along with his wonderful owner, Ahmed Zayat, owner of Zayat Stables, would not give up. Paynter eventually had to undergo surgery to remove a huge part of his cecum, and spent some time at Fair Hill in Maryland to recuperate.

One would think a horse like Paynter who had that “shadow of death” following him around since late July, would not even be back on a track TRAINING, never mind racing. However, on December 29,2012, Bob Baffert, the horse’s trainer, had Paynter back in his barn. Paynter’s miraculous recovery rendered him fit to start his racing come back.

For the past several months, Paynter had been training very well. He recently worked in company with Fast Bullet, who won the True North Handicap on June 8th. Baffert felt that Paynter was ready, and thought about putting the horse in the Triple Bend, per the TVG broadcasting team.

However, Baffert settled on this 7th race, an Allowance race, on June 14th, at Betfair Hollywood Park. The distance was 7 furlongs, or 7/8ths of a mile (1/8 of a mile = a furlong).

The post time for the race was approximately 7:13pm, EST. Paynter was number 2 in a field of 8. The horses were all loaded into the gate at about 7:15pm, EST.

About 30 seconds later, the gates sprang open, and Paynter’s comeback was on. Paynter broke well, and went to the lead. During the race, he had the lead, but Majestic City put some pressure on Paynter.

On the turn for home, Paynter had another gear, and put the field away to win by five lengths. Majestic City, who did great himself, finished six lengths in front of the third place horse.

I was watching this race, and I was crying happy tears. I could not believe what I just saw. This horse gave the Grim Reaper the double bird, and with the help of all the vets, the love from his beloved owner, Mr. Zayat, the prayers from the horse’s fans, and the support from the racing industry, returned to the track, and won with a statement making win.

Paynter’s win was a miracle. Watching him run, and doing what he loves to do, and is bred to do, was a celebration of life. The horse’s own will to fight the diseases must not be ignored. He was so determined to make it back to the track. Even when things looked so bleak at one point, Paynter in his own way, took the advice of the late, great Jim Valvano. He did not give up.

His owner, Ahmed Zayat, he adopted the message of the Journey hit, “Don’t Stop Believing.” So did many of Paynter’s supporters, including myself. I never stopped believing that God would rescue Paynter. I never stopped believing that Paynter would survive all this. I had complete faith that the horse would make it back to the track.

Thank God for a miracle horse.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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