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Jul 26, 2013

Paynter set for San Diego Handicap


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - The fully recovered Paynter will take on five rivals Saturday in the 72nd running of the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a prep for the Pacific Classic on Aug. 25.

Trained by Hall of Fame member Bob Baffert, Paynter will start from post 3 with Rafael Bejarano again in the saddle. The 4-year-old colt is making his first stakes start since winning last year's Haskell Invitational.

Paynter, owned by Zayat Stables, won his return race at Hollywood Park on June 14 after being sidelined with health problems that developed after the Haskell.

As a 3-year-old, the colt posted seconds in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs and the Belmont Stakes where he was caught at the wire by Union Rags. He finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another.

The colt has earned $989,424 in seven starts and four wins.

To Paynter's immediate outside will be another Baffert 4-year-old, Liaison. The colt will have his regular jockey Martin Garcia in the saddle.

Liaison, owned by Arnold Zetcher, is coming off a second to Clubhouse Ride in the Californian at Hollywood Park. Before that effort he won the Santana Mile and Mervyn LeRoy Handicap.

The 4-year-old has won five of 15 lifetime starts for $751,794.

Clubhouse Ride, winner of the Californian, has drawn the outside post with Joe Talamo getting the mount. The chestnut 5-year-old is trained by Craig Lewis for Six-S Racing Stable and Nikolas Petralia.

Clubhouse Ride has four seconds this year, three to Game On Dude. The horse was runner-up to "Dude" in the San Antonio, Santa Anita Handicap and Charles Town Classic, and fourth to the gelding in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

In 29 starts, Clubhouse Ride has four wins, eight seconds and eight thirds for $989,620.

Kettle Corn, third in last year's San Diego, will break from the inside post with Victor Espinoza riding. John Sadler trains the 6-year-old for C R K Stable. The horse is also entered in Friday's $100,000 Cougar II Handicap.

In his last start, Kettle Corn was second to Game On Dude in the Gold Cup to go along with a second in the Mervyn LeRoy, third in the Native Diver and fourth in the Californian.

Kettle Corn has earned $533,111 in 23 starts with seven wins, five seconds and five thirds.

Completing the field are Batti Man (Brice Blanc, post 2) and Chief Havoc (Edwin Maldonado, post 5).

Post-time for the San Diego Handicap will be approximately 8 p.m. (ET).

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