In perhaps Horse Racing’s story of the year, 2012 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter appears to making nothing short of a miraculous recovery from several life threatening situations. The good looking three year old by Awesome Again has been hospitalized since August 26, initially with a critical case of colitis, followed by the complication of laminitis, and an infection from an inserted IV.
As of this past Monday (Sept. 10), his condition has been upgraded from “critical” to “stable”. The Zayat family, who own the colt, said thru Twitter that Paynter “continues to gradually improve. He is passing manure and eating, and walks freely around his stall. His fever is under control and his protein levels have stabilized.”
“We continue to be blessed by a special horse; he continues to defy the odds,” primary owner Ahmed Zayat reported in a series of tweets (on Monday.)
“We have a happy horse today, no fever, all blood work is good. He is comfortable, stable and eating well.
“His protein level is good all in all looks like Payter continues to turn the corner and winning his battle with his colitis and on his fight with his fight with his laminitis, let me explain more in detail”.
“Paynter has three of his legs with casts to support the (three affected) feet. He has had no rotation at any point since the start of his illness in any of his feet”. (Laminitis is when the coffin bone inside the hoof begins to rotate downward…in severe cases it sometimes will penetrate the bottom of the hoof)
“None of them have shown any sinking ever since the beginning of his diagnosis” Zayat went on to say.
“It is fair to say that we caught a very mild laminitis in the first stages. We have taken today for the first time new sets of X-rays on his three feet since he has been in the casts since last Sunday.
“Dr. Laura (Javsicas) was extremely happy to see that there was no radiological changes from last week”.
‘In fact there has been much improvement from the way his feet looked before being in the cast”.
“So she feels very hopeful and encouraged that if we continue to have comfortable feet, and we feel blessed that this courageous Paynter, not only beaten colitis but he has a very good chance of beating laminitis.
“Miracles can happen; I am very heartened and encouraged that not only Paynter will survive as a stallion, but in 10 days when his casts are off, we can be in for a surprise that we have a chance of seeing him back as a racehorse in 2013.”
Zayat added that retirement was also an option.
“That’s always a possibility,” Zayat said. “The colt will always come first — he will tell us.”
Speaking from 33 years of experience, I am not completely convinced that Paytner, who is as gusty a horse as I’ve seen thru the years, is not out of the woods just yet. Laminitis can come back at anytime and will have to be monitored almost constantly.
I’ve been fooled once before by a super horse that suffered a catastrophic injury followed by a bout with laminitis. This horse lived some seven months and was doing well the whole time, and I thought he was going to make it. But as fate would have it, suddenly (no pun intended) the wheels came off and he had to be euthanized….perhaps you remember him….his name was Barbaro.