Not only does trainer Brad Cox have a deep bench of Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders, but his group of Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospects is growing as well. The latest to emerge in the latter category is Wet Paint, who relished wet conditions at Oaklawn Park on Saturday with a last-to-first rally in the $200,000 Martha Washington S.
The 3-1 third choice in a field of six, Wet Paint bided her time at the rear of the field as second choice Olivia Twist set the pace while being closely followed by even-money choice Defining Purpose. Olivia Twist backed off approaching the stretch as Defining Purpose took a narrow lead, with 27-1 outsider Taxed on her heels.
Taxed loomed the filly to beat past the eighth pole, but Wet Paint finished full of steam inside the final sixteenth and won by two lengths under Flavien Prat. The Godolphin homebred paid $8 after completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.62. Taxed finished second by three parts of a length over Defining Purpose, with Take Charge Briana fourth and Olivia Twist fifth.
“Brad was telling me she wasn’t really quick out of there. He said to give her time to get herself on her leads,” Prat said. “After that, she was traveling well. I was able to cut the corner. And, when I tipped her out, she really responded well.”
Wet Paint earned 20 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks, while Taxed picked up eight. Defining Purpose earned six points, boosting her total to seven, while Take Charge Briana secured four points and Olivia Twist two points.
This was the second win in four starts for Wet Paint. Up the track in her debut over the Kentucky Downs turf, she rebounded to break her maiden by 2 3/4 lengths over a sloppy track at Horseshoe Indianapolis. In her most recent start, she finished second in a one-mile allowance over the Tapeta track at Turfway Park.
A daughter of Blame, Wet Paint was produced by Sky Painter, a Grade 2-placed daughter of Street Cry and Grade 2 winner Skylighter.
Las Virgenes (G3)
Faiza improved her record to 3-for-3 with victory in the $200,500 Las Virgenes (G3) at Santa Anita, though trainer Bob Baffert’s current suspension from racing at Churchill Downs precluded the daughter of Girvin from earning any Oaks qualifying points.
A head winner in the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos over Pride of the Nile, Faiza beat that rival again in the Las Virgenes, this time by a half-length. Justique was 2 1/2 lengths behind in third, while Sweet Trouble and Uncontrollable crossed the wire in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, Faiza paid $4 as the even-money choice after covering one mile in 1:38.46 over a fast track.
Pride of the Nile earned eight qualifying points toward the Oaks, increasing her total to 12. Justique increased her total from three points to nine points, while Sweet Trouble earned four points. The two points Uncontrollable earned boosted her total to nine points.
Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones, Faiza sold for $275,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale. She was reared by Sweet Pistol, a Smart Strike half-sister to Grade 2 winner Thousand Words.