Profile in Courage

How can an owner who finishes second in all three Triple Crown races, two of them in photos; loses the Pimlico Special by a nose; and loses his three best horses to injury claim to have had his greatest year ever?

Ahmed Zayat hasn’t come right out and made such a claim, but the truth is, 2012 has indeed been his best year as an owner, because he has had the rare privilege of witnessing and experiencing first hand the heart and courage of a champion and being right there all the way as his horse fought his greatest battle. Remarkably, it is a battle he currently is winning.

Forget the heartbreaking defeats in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont, and the promising careers cut short. The Zayat family will always remember 2012 as the year of Paynter. And whenever they recall the indomitable fighting spirit displayed by their horse and his will to live, it will bring a smile to their faces that will more than make up for the disappointments on the track.

The jubilation of winning the Haskell, with Ahmed’s son Justin there to accept the trophy, was a special moment for sure. But there is no greater prize bestowed upon a Thoroughbred owner and no greater feeling to warm the soul than the pride and admiration the Zayats feel right now for Paynter.

They have utilized the Twitter world to provide constant updates on the horse to his legion of fans that continues to grow daily, in much the same manner as Barbaro, whose struggle gained national attention in 2006. This communication has enabled the Zayat family and Paynter’s fans to jointly feel the joy and heartache that has accompanied the horse’s battles with colitis, laminitis, an abscess, and whatever other maladies he has had to endure.

Even Paynter’s trainer, Bob Baffert, admitted at one point, “I can’t believe this horse is still alive.”

He added, “They should give a special Eclipse Award to that veterinarian (Dr. Laura Javsicas, who devoted so much of her time to Paynter and helped him through all his ordeals).

When the time came to start thinking about the humane thing to do, Zayat tweeted, “We need to be compassionate and merciful and treat our star with the respect and love that he deserves while giving him the best chance in fighting for his life.”

The word Thoroughbred has been used in many ways since the name entered the vernacular in 1701. It has become associated not only with royal breeding and athleticism, but courage and fortitude, and a competitive spirit. The  Thoroughbred in  the true sense of the word is a fighter by nature and that fight is not restricted to the racetrack. It can manifest itself anywhere. Paynter could have won the Triple Crown and not embody the spirit of the Thoroughbred any more than he did standing in a stall at Upstate Equine Medical Center in New York or at New Bolton Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

There will be no trophies for Paynter at this year’s Eclipse Awards dinner, but  trophies and what they represent can take on many forms and have just as proud a place in the heart as they do on the mantle.

To those who have marveled at his resolve and invested so much emotion following his plight, Paynter in his own way is the 2012 Horse of the Year.

41 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Karen in Texas

Amen, Steve! Much of Paynter's "powering up" has come from within his own being. May he continue on to complete recovery and health with the help of his medical team and his family, the Zayats, who requested and understood the power of prayer. I'm thinking they may be in consideration for an owners' Eclipse?

04 Oct 2012 11:16 PM
Terry M.

Well said. Paynter proved he has the heart of a champion.

There should indeed be an Eclipse Award for caring veterinarians like Dr. Laura Javsicas who use their skills to save lives. Usually we only hear about "vets" who shoot horses full of a cocktail of drugs so horses can run hurt and often break down. Those people taint the profession and don't deserve to be called doctors of anything. Thank God for caring professionals like Dr. Laura Javsicas! An Eclipse Award to honour such very dedicated people is a great idea.

04 Oct 2012 11:22 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, this has to be my favorite column of the year. Paynter is a profile in courage of the equine kind. His will to fight against some extremely tough odds should be acknowledged by the powers that be in this sport. I am hoping that he will win the Vox Populi Award, and I, among others, have emailed a request to Penny Chenery/the Secretariat site that he be nominated for the award. I think Paynter, the Zayats and Dr. Laura could also be acknowledged at the Eclipse Awards in a meaningful way. It just takes thinking outside the box. It is certainly doable. The committment the Zayats and Dr. Laura have made to Paynter should be acknowledged. They are amazing people and he is a courageous horse. He has heart, like Barbaro did.

04 Oct 2012 11:31 PM
Admiral Harriman Nelson's lady

Paynter is a magnificent animal. He has all the qualities of a champion--speed, stamina, intelligence, a strong fighting spirit, and a competitive edge. The saga of this horse's fight for life has brought to the fore the best elements of this sport--the courage and will to win in his fight for life coupled qwith  the sincere love the Zayat family have for this wonderful creature. They have spared no expense in trying to help their horse recover fully from this horrific illness and have remembered the fans all along the way, for which I, as a horse lover and fan of Paynter, am very grateful.

Kudos to trainer Bob Baffert for developing this champion and wholehearted thanks to all the vets at the clinics in New Jersey, New York, and now at New Bolton, for all they have done and are doing, to save the life of a remarkably resilient and courageous animal. And the Zayats are more of what we need in this sport--true sportsmen who have an undying love and compassion for the jorses in their stable.

And blessings to Paynter--his remarkable story shows there is more to racing than some harsh critics believe--it is about more than purse money, betting, breakdowns, and stud fees. It is about the magnificent animals themselves and the people who care for them. Paynter is a prime example--here's praying he will make a full recovery and someday pass along his indomitable spirit to future generations.

04 Oct 2012 11:54 PM
casey

Steve- Paynter's story & the incredible love the Zayat family has for him is indeed heartwarming & a story of the incredible spirit the Thoroughbred carries. Mr Zayat has been openly transparent about the issues facing his colt, has embraced the loving, caring fans who have returned his openness by holding prayer vigils, sending notes & tweets of encouragement, gifts to the doctors & staff who have cared for Paynter. As a fan, I rejoice with the Zayats over every tiny step toward recovery, worry about setbacks, & keep my friends updated through social media. And even though Paynter may not win an Eclipse award, his story has brought together fans from all corners of the world showing everything that is good and right in the raving industry. I can only hope that the sportswriters choose to present the Zayats with a special Eclipse, much like the one Team Zenyatta received. And, if I might offer a suggestion, your fans can write an email to   Information@secretariat.com  and suggest that Paynter be nominated for the third annual Vox Populi award. In Mr Zayat's own words "Paynter IS the People's Horse"

05 Oct 2012 12:23 AM
Teezee

Steve,

As Ahmed Zayat has asked, I continue to hope and pray for Paynter  to recover and have a full great life. If he would recover to race again that would be great. If he recovers and reproduces himself, that would be fine too. Its so nice to hear of an owner like Mr. Zayat  who cares so much for his horse.

I sincerely hope this story has a happy ending. But Dr. Laura and Mr. Zayat should be acknowledged for their genuine compassion and love for the horse. That is what horse racing should be about. We hear too often of the negative aspects of the sport. This is what ownership should be about. And I hope Ms. Chenery considers them for the Secretariat award. We need these kind of stories to bolster horse racing.

God bless Paynter.

05 Oct 2012 12:31 AM
Owlbet

It is so gratifying that Paynter is on the road to a complete recovery.  During Labor Day weekend, every morning I would Google Paynter or go to Zenyatta.com to find the latest updates on the colt's health.  I though for sure that the Labor Day weekend was going to be Paynter's last.  I said prayers and lit votive candles so that Paynter's life would be spared.  But instead of bad news, his legion of fans were rewarded with tweets of good news and small victories.  Power up Paynter!

Thank you Steve for this blog and even larger thanks to the Zayat family for keeping Paynter's legion of fans in the daily loop of Paynter's trials & tribulations.

05 Oct 2012 1:05 AM
ksweatman9

My favorite column also. Well said, Steve. I was waiting for you to write this. I'll Have Another's scratch from the final leg of the triple crown will pale in comparison to the disappointment and heartbreak I will feel if Paynter loses the war he has waged with his illness. Zayat's kindness, patience, and compassion has allowed this horse's indomitable spirit to prevail. As far as I'm concerned, both horse and owner deserve our respect and recognition, a special award in January wouldn't hurt either. I'll continue to send prayers and well wishes Paynter's way. I know the battle is not over, but at this point, I refuse to believe he will lose.

05 Oct 2012 1:13 AM
Bethany Loftis

Mr. Haskin, absolutely NO ONE could have stated more eloquently the story of this outstanding horse and his owners! With his courage and determination, Paynter is the face of the Thoroughbred. He's like a Phoenix. You can't keep him down. He optimizes strength and courage in the face of battle, and reminds us all to keep fighting no matter what life throws at us. I believe Zayat also needs to be recognized with a special eclipse award through his passion and dedication to, not only his athletes, but to the fans as well. He has repeatedly, and very graciously, kept us all informed with Paynter and has allowed us to grow close to him. Thank you, Mr. Haskin so much for taking the time to not only recognize this phenomenal horse, but also the people involved who take us along with them on their roller coaster journey! You are a gift!

05 Oct 2012 1:16 AM
thesnowleopard

I'm not sure your comment was made seriously, Steve, but isn't it time to recognize humanitarian contributions to the thoroughbred industry with an Eclipse? We admire our champions, but we love the memory of our Ruffians and Barbaros, and the spirit of our Paynters and those who keep them with us. You have enough influence in the industry - an industry threatened with far too many less-than-humanitarian stories - to get this going. This blog couldn't contain the supportive response.

05 Oct 2012 1:18 AM
Doodge

Profiles in courage award to Paynter and special thanks to the Doctor's excellence and the owner's willingness to give the horse a chance to live.  A truly inspirational story.  And thanks to Steve for telling it.

05 Oct 2012 1:42 AM
Bigtex

Steve, this is so awesome, this acknowledgment!  Paynter, who is displaying his "heart of a Champion", only adds to my intrigue, excitement, and eager anticipation to what we might see if he gains top form again after this "last man standing" war of attrition he's engaged in! He does NOT like to lose, period!!!

05 Oct 2012 2:14 AM
PomDeTerre

I have also emailed the Secretariat website requesting he be nominated fpr the Vox Populi Award.  His Paynter's strength. courage abd determination show the true heart of a thoroughbred, and he is well deserving of this title.  Those who also think so, please go to the contact page of Secretariat.com and send an email requesting his nomination. The vote takes place in November.

05 Oct 2012 6:59 AM
MdReynolds

Beautifully written! Paynter's illness has let everyone know what immensely caring owners the Zayats are. Not only do they provide their thoroughbreds the best care but they also have recognized Paynters fans by keeping us informed regularly on his condition. Bless Paynter AND the Zayats!

05 Oct 2012 7:25 AM
Dooquila

This story has spread across the pond, Paynter's fight for life is eagerly followed by many of us in Europe and are grateful for the updates and articles such as this.  Everyone concerned in the battle to save him have just been awesome.  I personally thought he was a goner when laminitis set in and am thrilled he hung on.  It brings a tear to the eye in the middle of the day.  We are all routing for Paynter and his connections.

05 Oct 2012 7:43 AM
Jockeygirl

He should get horse of the year!

05 Oct 2012 7:54 AM
NCteacher

...and the Zayats....Owners of the Year!

05 Oct 2012 8:49 AM
grisk

Well done, Mr. Haskin. The Zayats are wonderful examples of owners that love their horses, put the welfare of the horse first and understand the hearts of the fans. Paynter has displayed dignity, courage and patience. Dr. Laura, as Mr. Zayat always called her, did her profession proud, in her dedication to Paynter.

05 Oct 2012 9:51 AM
Owlbet

I forgot to mention it in my previous post, but huge, huge, huge, thanks to the veterinarians (especially Dr. Laura Javsicas) and staff at both the Upstate Equine & New Bolton Medical Centers for their dedication in their treatment of this horse.

Well done!  

05 Oct 2012 10:11 AM
TripleCrownKaren

Steve! SO glad you did this column on Paynter!    I, like millions o others have been following his ups & downs and my heart has been with his owners the entire time.    When the dreaded diagnosis of Laminitis came up all I could think was Oh No not Paynter!   Not again!   Having lost a beloved mare to this illness, it is a often long hard fought battle with NO guarantee of success.    To see the Zayats devoting all their time, attention and resources to help him and make sure he is treated with dignity and ensure his comfort, gives me hope that that there "may be" more owners out there like them, who CARE about these wonderful, sensitive creatures.    Most of the racing public thinks of the term "heart" when they see 2 horses battling in the stretch, neither giving an inch until they finish the race.     But there is the other definition of tht word, which is what Barbaro showed us and Paynter is showing right now!     IF he comes back to race it would nothing short of a miracle.   But if he never races again and just goes quietly off to stud he has shown more HEART battling his many health issues than any other horse I've ever seen race!    I'd breed a mare to him in a nano second to get 1/10th of that heart in the foal!

05 Oct 2012 10:15 AM
Deltalady

Thank you, Steve, for giving  voice to what we as fans of Paynter and Mr. Zayat all feel.  Last night was a true gift when we received official word that the abscess, which had been the cause of Paynter's not being able to fully recover after beating back colitis and laminitis, had been successfully removed.  The added bonus was to find out that he is so improved that he is standing and eating everything in site! He won't let the vets work on him without something to nibble on in front of him!  He seems to be on the mend, this time, hopefully, for good!

All who love Paynter, and the courage he has displayed, can request that he be nominated for the Secretariat Vox Populi award. There is a committee that nominates the horses for consideration, and then, fans can vote their support.  Heavy consideration is given to the fans' choice.  The email we have used is information@secretariat.com.  POWER UP PAYNTER!  My hero!

05 Oct 2012 10:23 AM
Love 'em all

"Somebody Up There Likes Paynter" .... and all his loving connections and all his devoted and caring medical personnel ... and, of course, all his many, many fans.  This horse is the epitome of a courageous warrior and, thankfully, with the help of modern medicine and placed in the hands of such loving, caring people .... he's apparently well on his way to a successful recovery.  

I like to think Paynter has many 'equine guardian angels' to thank, too.  Cheers to all, but especially to Paynter for his fighting spirit .... and his will to live.  Long live Paynter!  

My most sincere thanks to Mr. Zayat for his genuine love and caring for Paynter.  Yes, Paynter and his 'team' definitely deserve a special award.  So be it.

05 Oct 2012 10:29 AM
Linda in Texas

Admiral Harriman Nelson's Lady -

How lovely your comments. Your words stated so perfectly that I deleted my comment and second your's.

And add, Paynter you have done your

dam and sire and all from whence they came proud. Paynter has fought all of his serious issues with a little bit of something from every single one of them.

He is my hero for 2012. And i so agree with Paula Higgins.

Thank you Steve, exceptional article about everyone involved and Paynter.

05 Oct 2012 12:18 PM
JoyJackson21

Very beautiful article, Steve.  Thank you so much for your lovely and moving words regarding Paynter.

Paynter has impressed me ever since I first saw him in the Santa Anita Derby.  He ran fourth, but he ran an excellent, strong fourth.  It was a race Bob Baffert put him in to test him. It was a stiff race to test him in for his first race.  I made note of Paynter in my private ledger and kept track of him, making sure to catch every race he ran in.  He has never disappointed, Paynter always tried his hardest to accomplish the goal he was assigned to do.  His phenomenal, impressive place in the Belmont Stakes was astounding.  I was as proud of Paynter as if I owned him.  He shipped into New York, and ran a mile and a half for the first time in front of a huge crowd. He led the race the entire time around Belmont, and was nipped at the wire by a neck.  Only a neck.  An extremely brave performance on Paynter's part.  Then Paynter won the Haskell in commanding fashion.  He had officially alerted the world he had, indeed, arrived.

All that courage Paynter showed on the race track pales in comparison to the courage he has shown in battling all of these illnesses he has had to overcome, many of them coming against him simultaneously.  "Profile in courage" is a term that describes Paynter to a "T".  During Paynter's vigil, he has displayed bravery, courage, good-naturedness, strength, tenacity, and a ferocious will to live.  Paynter has been in my prayers every single day during this struggle, along with the prayers of millions of other people.  After every challenge to his well-being, Paynter fought for his life harder than he did the time before.  He has withstood pain and every challenge with dignity, grace and good humor.  He has triumphed over adversities, adversities that attacked him most of the time all at once, that would have felled a human being, no less a horse.  The news yesterday that Paynter was eating well and DEMANDING food were beautiful, sweet words to me.  They totally made my day.

The medical teams that have worked tirelessly and dedicatedly to ensure Paynter's optimum health cannot receive enough accolades.  Mr. Laura, in particular, has been like Paynter's guardian angel.  She does, indeed, deserve a special Eclipse Award.  Thank you, Dr. Javsicas, for being 150% in Paynter's corner.  We can't thank you enough.

And, finally, a huge "Thank You" needs to be given to the Zayat family.  Thank you for your love and dedication to this wonderful horse, and your complete commitment to his total return to optimum health, regardless of cost. I was never prouder of any moment by an owner than when the Zayat family tweeted that they were not going to euthanize Paynter as they thought they might, rather, they would let Paynter tell them if he wanted to keep on fighting.  Paynter's courage indicated to them he wanted to keep on fighting.  Consequently, they continued to show faith in him.  And look at how Paynter has rewarded them, and us, in that faith.  Paynter has rewarded us all by showing us his fabulous warrior spirit.  Paynter is a warrior.  I don't blame the Zayats for being deservedly proud of this horse for what he has accomplished both on and off the field.  Especially off the field.  Mr. Zayat tweeted a picture of Paynter's Haskell trophy the other day, his accompanying words so proud.  And I know why he is proud of that trophy.  Every time he looks at that statue it reminds him of the incredible horse that he has had the privilege to own, a horse that embodies the definition of the definition of the word "champion" in every way, and how Paynter has taught him and his family the real meaning of faith, and in the wonderful consequences of trusting in hope.

If Paynter never races another race again, that would be okay with me.  For me, that was never the goal.  The only thing I have ever wanted was to see Paynter completely well again and to live a happy, healthy, long life - be that in retirement at stud, or in racing.  Thank God our prayers and good thoughts have been well-received and Paynter is rapidly getting better.  

Thank you, Paynter, for inspiring all of us with your courage through your amazing journey to good health.  As I said earlier, you, sweetie, are truly remarkable. Go, Paynter, go!!

05 Oct 2012 12:56 PM
kjm0910

I knew about Paynter as a Derby prospect but ever since hearing about his story now, I've fallen in love with him and really hope he pulls through.  I would love to see this horse come back to win even an allowance race or two and then retire to breeding shed.  he is what this breed needs- strong and courageous and I have also come to respect his owner so much more.  Not many TB owners would do what what they have.  Any owner that does what the Zayats have and the owners of Barbaro did back when he was fighting are good in my book.  More owners should be like this and see the animals for who they are- courageous athletes that continue to amaze us.

<3 Paynter

05 Oct 2012 5:47 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Oh Steve have I been waiting for this article!  I feel so honored to have stood in front of Paynter at the Haskell now.  I am so proud I got to see first hand such a real champion.  This is so eloquently and expertly written and the title is sheer perfection Steve.  

I couldn't agree more, if this winning spirit that is embodied in the breed of Thoroughbred can manifest itself like it has in Paynter off the racetrack, then by all means Paynter in my book is HOY.  Battle Game On Dude in the BC Classic or battle life threatening laminitis and colitis doesn't matter.  That spirit persevered with the fight and that is what counts.  

Steve is amazing, the Zayats are amazing, the veterinarians are amazing, and most amazing of all is the magnificnet creature called Paynter.  His name was Z Awesome as a 2 yr. old and isn't he just that!  I've been praying every day so hard for Paynter to win this war.  He truly is what the Zayats call, "The People's Horse."  Paynter is my hero too.  The poor thing is on his third hospital in as many months and still fighting to get out.  And I believe he will indeed.  I don't care if he never races again, as long as he can go enjoy life and make little "Paynts."  This is one special animal and one that should have the title of HOY bestowed upon him.  PowerUpPaynter!!!!!

05 Oct 2012 6:47 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you Linda in Texas! I think all of us want to see Paynter, the Zayats and Dr. Laura honored. I hope it happens. Paynter's recovery has been the best news for all of us. Right now, I am watching the Braves lose their wild card game after a bad call by an umpire. But Paynter's recovery makes it all o.k.

05 Oct 2012 8:30 PM
Big_Red_4ever

As a son of Awesome Again from Tizso, a full sister to Tiznow and Budroyale, Paynter comes by his awesome courage naturally. I hope this wonderful colt fully recovers and goes on to be at least as good a sire as his daddy and "uncle" Tiznow. After all he's been trough, Paynter deserves some luck and happiness. So do his remarkable owners, the Zayats. Although they'll probably never see this message, I want to thank them for sharing Paynter with us. I don't know if the good Lord answers prayers about saving horses, but in case he does He does, I pray: please save this exceptional colt. Thank you.

05 Oct 2012 9:59 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Steve if you speak to Mr. Zayat ask him if he can ask News 12 NJ to mention Paynter.  They were all over the Haskell prior and after with storeis galore, hats, etc.  I think they should mention that the Haskell winner has been fighting for his life.  A few thousand more New Jerseyans praying that don't know about it won't hurt, and yes, there are people who don't know about Paynter's ordeal in the mainstream.  Just a thought, I know ESPN has mentioned it, News 12 should follow suit since Paynter won his big Grade I in NJ.  And News 12 is so animal aware and great about animal stories.  It should be mentioned.

06 Oct 2012 1:03 AM
Bill Rinker

Thanks for the article Steve, Just like so many others my prayers have been with the Zayat family for the recovery of Paynter through this ordeal. Paynter truly is a talented and courageous race horse, and in my mind a stayer in the game of life.

06 Oct 2012 10:01 AM
Tiz Herself

Am praying for Paynter's recovery. The courage of these animals, their heart... you captured it brilliantly here Steve, as always. As long as Paynter continues to be a good patient, eats, etc., he should be fine. Keeping fingers crossed!

The three year old crop misses him with the retirement now of Gemologist... will miss him on the track, never did get to show what he was made of.

Anyone know where Went the Day Well is at?

06 Oct 2012 10:54 AM
jill786

Thank you Steve for your eloquent article (as always). I also have been passionately following Paynter's trials and tribulations--If I had a mare to breed further on down the line, when/if (God willing)this gallant animal enters the stud, Paynter would be my first choice, hands down; such a champion!

06 Oct 2012 11:06 AM
Delrene

Another fine article about this wonderful colt.  Onward to Vox Populi Paynter!  What a champion you are.  Thanks Steve.  Always appreciate your subject matter.  

06 Oct 2012 2:34 PM
smarie

I too have been following what news I can find about Paynter. Such a remarkable horse with such a will to win and such a will to live. I remember following Barbaro's struggles too and Paynter reminds me a lot of Barbaro. I pray that Paynter survives his many ordeals and can pass along his strength and heart to another generation of Thoroughbreds. The Zayat family has proved themselves to be one of the more caring of Throughbred owning families. I congratulate them on their successes and I am so thankful that they care about their animals. Far too many have the attutude of "What have you done for me lately?" when it comes to their horses. The fact that not many national news or sports venues have mentioned Paynter and his ongoing health issues just further illustrates how little attention is paid to horse racing anymore.

06 Oct 2012 9:58 PM
greyghost

There is no doubt that Paynter's exceptional talent was evident in the Belmont and again in the Haskell. But no one knew what was to come and how this colt would show his true mettle through a series of illnesses that could have easily ended his life. Truly this is no ordinary race horse, and the Zayats' are exemplary owners that pursue all options available to return their horse from death's door to a thriving, sustainable existence. The Zayat family should be applauded for their continued efforts to save this horse, and for keeping the fans in the loop.  With their ongoing communication they have served to endear Paynter to the followers of the sport. We can only hope and pray that he is finally on his way to a full recovery.

07 Oct 2012 2:34 AM
Mike Relva

Best Wishes for Paynter.

08 Oct 2012 8:43 AM
Bill Two

Couldn't agree more.  Paynter even inspires me to get up in the morning even when I don't feel good.  He gets my vote as HOY.  God bless 'em.

08 Oct 2012 12:01 PM
shazzer

WELL SAID!  Bravo Steve!!  LOVED every word of it!!!

08 Oct 2012 12:07 PM
CarolMcE

Being a life-long (60yo) horse lover I finally owned my first horse at age 35 and finally knew the joy of the bond between this magnificent animal and her human (me). A horse is much more than a way to make money or fame for its owner. He or she has a spirit and a soul, be it a backyard pet, a police mount (mine) or a multi million dollar champion like Paynter.

09 Oct 2012 7:44 PM
ginns1

Paynter has shown us all what perseverence means!  He has had incredible determination when it comes to fighting his illnesses!  Those of us who follow him on twitter or facebook marvel and cheer each and everytime that an update appears!

Special thanks to the Zayat family for making all of us "Paynter's Family" and allowing us to follow the ups and downs as they happen!

As for the Eclipse Award ... give it to whoever you want ... we all know that Paynter, The Zayat Family and the staff of 2 magnificent Equine clinics will have the best award at the end of all this ... a living, breathing miracle named Paynter!

10 Oct 2012 1:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

They did it !!!!!  One of the greatest victories of all time in any sport. Paynter will be leaving New Bolton Center soon for rehab for a few months before returning to train for the races. This win ranks up there with Zenyatta's Classic win, Secretariat's Belmont and all of the other great races. It has been an extraordinary effort from Paynter, Mr. Zayat and family, all of the vets involved and the fans that communicated their hopes and encouragement. Just a magnificent job and a tribute to what the human and horse spirit can accomplish against seemingly insurmountable odds. I read at one point the words "impossible to beat" For some reason I did not believe that. This victory proves that nothing is impossible. What a fight, and what wonderful determination and judgement by Mr. Zayat and the vets. Thank you for renewing faith in humankind. Mr. Zayat is a hero of the highest order. Way to go Paynter. Good luck going forward and I hope you once again stand in the winner's circle at the races. You already are in the winner's circle of courage.

12 Oct 2012 5:30 PM

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