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Aug 03, 2012

Game On Dude in first, Paynter enters NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Trainer Bob Baffert watched from Del Mar on Sunday as his three-year-old colt Paynter won convincingly at Monmouth Park in the $1 million Haskell Invitational.

The win put the lightly-raced horse into the National Thoroughbred Poll for the first time. Baffert still has Game On Dude leading the NTRA Poll in week 22.

Game On Dude, training for the Pacific Classic, received 20 top votes and 387 points. The five-year-old gelding has been atop the voting for four straight weeks.

The next seven positions in the poll are unchanged as well from last week.

Ron the Greek is second with six first-place votes and 345 points. Sitting third with two top votes and 320 points is Mucho Macho Man followed by Shackleford (2, 294), Royal Delta (1, 246), Acclamation (3, 243) I'll Have Another (12, 202) and Wise Dan (117).

Paynter enters the poll in ninth, dropping stablemate Bodemeister a spot to 10th. Owned by Zayat Stables, Paynter won the Haskell by 3 3/4 lengths as the even-money favorite.

"Jimmy (assistant trainer Jim Barnes) and I have always been high on him," Baffert said of Paynter. "It was nice to finally get a big win for Zayat and with (jockey) Rafael Bejarano."

The victory entitled the colt to 92 points, 30 more than Bodemeister.

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