Zayat Stables' Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Paynter has beaten laminitis and will be able to race again if he beats colitis, his owner said Sept. 21.
The 3-year-old colt has been hospitalized at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., since the week of Aug. 26 while battling colitis, an infection of the colon. He was diagnosed with laminitis in three feet Sept. 4.
"Dr. Brian Fraley (flew) in from Kentucky to visit him and wow, yes, he has beaten laminitis, and yes, he can race again," Ahmed Zayat said via Twitter, the method he has employed to issue updates on the son of Awesome Again.
Zayat also said the casts that had been applied to support the colt's limbs were removed Sept. 21, and that he was showing uniform growth in the hoof walls of all four feet.
"Radiographs taken barefoot showed significant sole growth," Zayat tweeted. "The hoof-lamellar zone has returned to a normal thickness, indicating a decrease in swelling within the hoof. Soft-ride boots with EVA foam pads were placed on the front feet and EVA foam pads were placed on the hind feet. He is sound at the walk."
Dr. Laura Javsicas, Paynter's attending veterinarian, and Fraley are optimistic the feet will not be performance-limiting, meaning the colt could race again at top levels, Zayat said. Paynter continues to battle colitis, however, and continues to spike fevers well above normal. On Sept. 17 doctors began a more aggressive strain of antibiotics delivered directly through a catheter to fight the illness.
"Now that our warrior has beaten this sick disease of laminitis, if he can only beat his colitis and get his GI tract back to normal," Zayat wrote. "Healing will take some time but we are heading in the right direction. His fever is normal today. He is bright, happy and comfortable. I am on cloud nine; I will take it day by day."
Paynter, bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corp., is out of the Cee's Tizzy mare Tizso. He has three wins and two seconds from six starts, with earnings of $952,224.
Prior to the Haskell, the Bob Baffert trainee finished second by a neck to Union Rags after showing the way in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).