April 1st, 2023

Wet Paint’s Fantasy (G3) Victory Sets BLAME Up for Big Weekend at Churchill Downs

There was no stallion in Kentucky who had a bigger impact on both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails on Saturday than BLAME, who is the sire of the likely Kentucky Oaks (G1) favorite Wet Paint and the broodmare sire of likely Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Forte.

Dominating the Road to the Kentucky Oaks trail at Oaklawn Park all season, BLAME’s Godolphin homebred Wet Paint went three-for-three this year with a victory in the Fantasy Stakes (G3).

As has become her trademark, Wet Paint raced in last early on in the 1 1/16-mile race over 12 lengths behind the leader with Flavien Prat unworried about her position. It wasn’t until the far turn that Wet Paint started kicking into gear and once she started rolling there wasn’t a thing anyone could do to stop her.

She raced into the stretch five wide and had the lead as they crossed into the final furlong. She pulled away by a deceivingly small 2 ½ lengths with Prat only giving her one tap late.

Trained by Brad Cox, Wet Paint has won four of six starts with one other top three finish for nearly $700,000 in earnings.

“Big run,” Cox told Daily Racing Form. “The way she kind of just cruised up to the leaders today was really impressive. I thought it was equally as impressive as [her win in] the Honeybee.

“I was proud to see how she performed on a dry track today. I’ve been getting that question a lot the last couple of weeks. She was certainly breezing well on a [dry track]. You never know until they do it, and today she stepped up and did it.”

Wet Paint is the first foal to race out of Grade 3 placed Sky Painter, who herself is out of multiple Grade 2 winner Skylighter with 17 stakes performers under Wet Paint’s first four dams.

A few states away in Florida, Forte also stayed undefeated in his two starts this year with a win in the Florida Derby (G1). It was the sixth win in seven career starts for last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, who is now the likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Racing for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, the South Gate Farm-bred Forte is out of BLAME’s four-time stakes winner Queen Caroline. That mare is one of three stakes performers for her own stakes winning dam Queens Plaza. This is also the family of U.S. champion juveniles Folklore and Essential Quality, Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail, and Grade 1 winner Come Dancing.

Forte is one of five stakes winners and eight stakes performers born in 2020 out of BLAME daughters. That group also includes Listed Bourbonette Oaks winner Botanical, who sits fifth on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard. Botanical is by Medaglia d’Oro – the grandsire of Forte.

In all, BLAME is the broodmare sire of 12 stakes winners and 19 stakes performers with his first sizable crop as a broodmare sire born in 2018.

It’s been a big Triple Crown season for BLAME, who also sired Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) winner Litigate. The stallion is also the sire of Mine That Bird Derby stakes winner and Sunland Park Derby (G3) third Henry Q, who also has 15 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

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