BLAME’s Wet Paint proved yet again that she’s a force in the 3-year-old filly division on Saturday when securing her first Grade 1 victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga.
Looking for her fourth stakes win of the year in this 1 1/8-mile dirt race, the BLAME daughter took up the back runner position in the field as she raced a few paths off the rail. Jockey Flavien Prat waited until they hit mid-turn to start asking Wet Paint for her best and she started rolling. The filly still had plenty to do at the top of the stretch and spent every stride working her way toward the leader.
It took nearly the whole stretch, but the Godolphin homebred did exactly what she needed to record the win by a neck with the rest of the field 8 ½ lengths behind the top two.
“Super classy and overcomes a lot,” trainer Brad Cox said. “It doesn’t really matter what you run her on – wet track, fast track. She closes into soft paces like she did today, she closes into a fast pace. This is her thing in regards to just kind of flopping out of the gate and finding her way and finishing up. That’s really what it comes down to – just let her break and kind of find her way around there, and when she starts picking up, just keep her out of trouble.”
The earner of $1,057,175, Wet Paint is the sixth career Grade 1 winner for BLAME, who has a 8.4% stakes winners to runners strike rate with 82 stakes performers.
She’ll be aiming for another Grade 1 next out with Cox naming the Alabama Stakes (G1) as her next start.
“That’s the logical spot moving forward,” he said. “We’ll talk it over with the Godolphin team, but I think a mile and a quarter is definitely something she’s going to be able to handle based off her running style and showing today that she likes Saratoga.”
Wet Paint is out of the Grade 3 placed Sky Painter, who is a daughter of Grade 2 winner Skylighter. That mare was also fourth in a Saratoga Grade 1 during her own career. Wet Paint’s third dam is Painted Lady – who herself produced three stakes winners and one other stakes performer. Painted Lady is out of the four-time Grade 1 winner Nastique.
BLAME’s six Grade 1 winners is the 16th best among all active North American sires.