They crowded Bodemeister with cameras and followed the colt’s every move as he challenged I’ll Have Another along the Triple Crown trail. A true Bob Baffert throwback, he’d race to the lead and try his best to hold on, always getting caught in the final strides.
Bodemeister has been a star since he turned heads with his dominating Arkansas Derby romp. There’s some competition brewing in the Baffert training camp, however, with another front-running quarterback . . .colt, that is. . . in Paynter.
Paynter showed his mettle with a gutsy second behind rail-riding Union Rags in the Belmont. While considered the bench player during the early phase of the Triple Crown, he proved he belongs in the Grade 1 big leagues and is now considered one of the top prospects in his division.
Now the question remains: Who is the starting passer in Baffert’s 3-year-old rotation?
Lest we not forget that Baffert thought from the start that Paynter, overall, was the better runner.
The pressure has increased on Bodemeister since a fever knocked him off his training schedule and kept him out of the Haskell. He’ll return soon, but look who took his place in the Haskell lineup: Paynter.
It could be the final determination will be settled in a head-to-head battle on the track.