Two of the most dynamic three year olds in the country share three traits: they have the same owner, trainer, and running style. So what do you do with them?
In some preliminary rankings for the Breeders' Cup Classic, you see both of them in the field of 14. But seeing that they're both pure speed horses, you can't pit them against each other, can you?
Baffert is on record as saying, “That’s the plan today. We’ll split them up.”
The plan, as we know it, is that Bodemeister will run in the Haskell while Paynter will look towards the Jim Dandy and Travers. Good strategy. (via DRF)
But how badly does Zayat want a Breeders' Cup Classic victory? If you assume he believes (as he must) that he has two of the best colts in the country, you have to think he will be gunning for the Classic (this obviously assumes they continue their successful 3yo campaigns). Do you change the running style of one of the two colts? Or do you find a better place for one of them at Santa Anita in November?
But where does the "other" (non-BC Classic horse) fit? The Dirt Mile's company is pretty stacked, with Shackleford leading the way. Plus challenging Shack on the front end of an 8f race? Good luck. Shack might not beat you, but the two will be ground down enough that neither he nor his challenger on the lead will win.
The wild card is the fact that Bodemeister and Paynter are both late bloomers in comparison to their peers. You could see them continue to move forward as they continue to grow and mature.
It's still early to think about where you will enter your colts in the Breeders' Cup meet, but it will be fascinating to watch how Bafftert picks his spots to maximize each horse's earnings and potential throughout the remainder of the summer. They'll only have around 4 more starts to prove themselves.