Tag Archives: Paynter

No “winning wiener” for Baffert; superstitious bettors leery

Bob Baffert hasn’t held back when disclosing his secret to domination of the Haskell Invitational.

Baffert credits his five victories in the monumental Monmouth Park matchup to a cuisine ritual: eating a Max’s hot dog before the race. Mind you, only one.

Max’s Famous Hot Dogs is a landmark eatery in Long Branch that’s been intertwined with horse racing from the start. Businessman Milford Maybaum, who bought the restaurant and became known as “Mr. Max,”  was heavily involved in racing. He owned several race horses and often traveled to various tracks. There was even a horse named after his wife – known as “Mrs. Max” – tabbed Hot Dog Queen, who ran, of course, at Monmouth.


This year, Baffert will miss his excursion to Max’s, and he won’t be in attendance to watch Paynter, the Haskell favorite. The trainer is staying in California to oversee his runners at Del Mar. With his recent health issues, it might be for the best he doesn’t chow down.

According to an Associated Press story this week, Baffert told assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes to take over hot dog duties – and to get there before rival trainer Dale Romans, who has Dullahan in the race.

Superstitious bettors, however, are leery of Paynter in light of this development. Will it really be the same if Barnes eats the hot dog? Does this signal an end to Baffert’s reign?

Wager wisely with the “winning wiener” angle.

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Will Bodemania give way to Paynter Pandemonium?


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.

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