WinStar Farm has taken an unusual approach in promoting its new stallion Paynter . The popular colt joined WinStar's roster after the Breeders' Cup World Championships and will stand his first year at stud for a $25,000 fee.
To celebrate the start of his stud career, WinStar commissioned Louisville artist Braylyn Stewart to paint a 7-foot by 20-foot mural dedicated to Paynter and displaying the farm's advertising tagline for the 4-year-old Awesome Again colt: "Paynter: Awesome Heart."
WinStar chief executive and racing manager Elliott Walden said the tagline and the idea for the graffiti-style mural evolved out of the idea of Paynter as a "street fighter" who showed great determination and courage in fighting off a near fatal bout of colitis and early-stage laminitis. The colt, who fell ill after winning the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I), inspired a devoted fan following as he battled those diseases. He returned to the races at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 14, almost a year after his Haskell victory, and won an allowance. He also finished second in the grade II San Diego Handicap this season. His racing career ended after a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Stewart—a tattoo artist, muralist, and conceptual artist—came to WinStar's attention through Jon Siegel at the PM Advertising agency. Stewart is known for blending graffiti with traditional painting and used spray paint for much of the Paynter mural.
"We started thinking about it, and it just kind of evolved, like a lot of good ideas do," Walden said. "I just met the artist for the first time here today, and the thing I like about is that he's passionate about what he does. He was excited about being here. He has the passion for what he's doing, just like we have a passion out here at WinStar for what we're doing."
Walden said the farm hadn't yet decided where to display the mural, which Stewart painted on the lawn adjacent to WinStar's new stallion complex and breeding shed.
"This is a little different with the ad campaign," he added. "I think it'll get people talking, which is always good."