When considering your selection for the 149th running of the Kentucky Oaks, what’s the biggest attribute you are looking for? If it’s a closing kick for that long home stretch at Churchill Downs, Wet Paint is certainly your filly.
A daughter of Blame, Wet Paint comes into the most famous race for three-year-old females as perhaps the hottest girl on the planet. Three wins in three starts this year has jettisoned this Brad Cox-trained filly into the role of Kentucky Oaks favorite. Each one of those victories displayed her vivacious kick down the lane
First came the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park on January 28. At the back of the pack a half mile into the race, Wet Paint powerfully stroked through horses and was full of run as she won by a widening 2 lengths. Next was the Honeybee Stakes, also at Oaklawn on February 25. Running tenth in a twelve-horse field with just five-sixteenths of a mile to go, this granddaughter of Street Cry unleashed a set of legs that would make Betty Grable blush. Splitting horses under jockey Flavien Prat, Wet Paint displayed an incredible turn of foot and found the wire a good three lengths ahead of the rest. Her final win was the Fantasy Stakes on April 1, again at Oaklawn Park. Last a half-mile in, The Godolphin owned filly again flexed her closing kick and won by a widening 2 ½ lengths.
“We have not really done anything to cultivate her closing kick, it’s just her being her”, says Brad Cox, who won the Kentucky Oaks in 2018 (Monomoy Girl) and 2020 (Shedaresthedevil). “That run in the Honeybee was really a huge effort. She seems to be able to close no matter what the pace is like. Her works coming into the Oaks have been really, really good.”
The Kentucky Oaks will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on May 5 with an expected full field of fourteen. Wet Paint will be breaking from post seven and is currently the morning line favorite at 5-2.