"He worked great today," Baffert said via Twitter. "(It) looks like he might be headed (to the San Diego)."
The San Diego, at 1 1/16 miles, is a local prep for the Pacific Classic (gr. I) later in the Del Mar meet.
Paynter easily won an allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park in his first start of 2013. He completed the seven furlongs in a sharp 1:21.86 on the Cushion Track surface.
In his last start of 2012, Paynter won the grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. He was sidelined a couple of days after the Haskell when he spiked a temperature at Monmouth.
The colt was sent to a New Jersey clinic, then to the Upstate Equine Medical Center in New York, and finally the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center of Veterinary Medicine to remove an abscessed area of his colon Oct. 3.
Paynter recovered in Maryland at Fair Hill Equine Therapy and returned to Baffert's California base in late December.
At one point, while being treated for colitis, he had his feet fitted with casts after showing signs of the hoof disease laminitis. His weight fell to the 900-pound range before rebounding late in the year.