Million-dollar miracle - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Million-dollar miracle

Posted: Updated:

DEL MAR (CBS 8) - On Wednesday, the Del Mar Thoroughbread Club begins its 76th season.

For the next seven weeks, over 2,000 thoroughbreds will be stabled at Del Mar, many of them well-bred and headed for prestigious stakes races. But only one has earned the right to be called "The Miracle Horse."

At age three, two days after winning a million-dollar race in New Jersey, three-year-old Paynter was on his way to super stardom. Two weeks later, he was at death's door. First, he spiked a fever and developed colitis.

"That's not a good sign for a horse. Usually it's one way trip to the clinic." Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said.

Paynter spent the next two months, under 24-hour veterinary care.

"And during those two months we kept getting the word every day, 'Well if he doesn't make it tonight, we might have to put him down,'" Bob said.

Then, things took a turn for the worse for Paynter.

"He started getting a touch of laminitis in his feet, which is really, really bad," Bob said.

Surgery was performed on Paynter to remove an abscess in his stomach and then he began his long road back to recovery.

Paynter started back in training last December. On June 14, almost a year after his last race, Paynter was back on to the track and demolished a field at Hollywood Park.

It was overwhelming for Bob.

"When he won at Hollywood Park, it was so emotional for me I wanted to cry," he said.

Paynter's next race will be the San Diego handicap on Saturday, July 27 at Del Mar. Meanwhile, he's hanging out in the backstretch, ready to take a chomp out anybody who wanders too close to his stall.

"He is a miracle. I've never seen a horse go through this that survived it," Bob said.

It's just one of hundreds of stories that will play out at Del Mar over the next seven weeks.

  • Larry Himmel's NeighborhoodsMore>>

  • Supernatural: Sea to sandwich

    Supernatural: Sea to sandwich

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:47:25 GMT
    After wowing Sunday crowds at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Supernatural has opened a restaurant in Mira Mesa to meet the daily sandwich needs of their faithful followers. 
    After wowing Sunday crowds at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Supernatural has opened a restaurant in Mira Mesa to meet the daily sandwich needs of their faithful followers. 
  • Some like it hot

    Some like it hot

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-04-09 03:19:11 GMT
    The heat is on in the East County, and that had locals looking for ways to keep cool. 
    The heat is on in the East County, and that had locals looking for ways to keep cool. 
  • Picture perfect

    Picture perfect

    Monday, April 7 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 01:15:09 GMT
    On a scale of one to 10, what kind of a day did you have? 
    On a scale of one to 10, what kind of a day did you have? 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.