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Paynter and jockey Raphael Bejarano win the Haskell Invitational (Gr I) at Monmouth Park in July 2012

Paynter winning the Haskell Stakes under Rafael Bejarano in July

  PICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Jessie Holmes  

Haskell hero Paynter 'seriously ill' with colitis

USA: The crop of top-class three-year-old colts in the States could be further weakened by the news Haskell winner Paynter is being treated for colitis - an inflammation of the colon - the second time in less than a month he has been admitted to a clinic.

In July he was treated for diarrhoea - trainer Bob Baffert said they had "dodged a bullet" at the time - but the Awesome Again colt's future is uncertain with Dr Mark Cheney, who is overseeing his treatment, describing him as seriously ill.

"I'm worried to death," Cheney said, speaking to the Daily Racing Form. "You've got to keep your fingers crossed. Just hope and pray.

"I just don't think he got over what he had down there. I'm just glad they didn't ship him on Monday.

"He had lost weight, and you could see in his eyes he was not as healthy as he should be," added Cheney who said, founder, a colloquial term for laminitis, was also a major concern.

The US racing scene has already lost Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, second in those races, and Belmont Stakes hero Union Rags, who have retired after injuries, while the career of Hansen, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, is also in the balance following a tendon problem.

 
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