Wet Paint Earns Career-Best 93 Beyer for Runner-up Effort in G1 Alabama

August 20, 2023

Wet Paint captures the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) July 22 at Saratoga (Susie Raisher)

Salute the Stars to Scratch From G3 Smarty Jones To Try Turf

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Though Godolphin’s Kentucky homebred Wet Paint was unable to reel in runaway pacesetter Randomized in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama presented by Keeneland Sales, the daughter of Blame put in a career-best effort numbers wise when garnering a 93 Beyer Speed Figure for her runner-up effort in the 10-furlong test for sophomore fillies at Saratoga Race Course.

Wet Paint stalked as far back as 4 1/2 lengths under regular pilot Flavien Prat and made a bid along the inside exiting the final turn, but was left to chase home Randomized as she drew away to win by four lengths.

“She came back good and a little tired, but that’s expected going a mile and a quarter,” said her two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. “I thought she got a great trip and was just second best yesterday. The figure was a good one and a lifetime best, so all-in-all I think she ran her best race, she just wasn’t quite good enough to get to the winner’s circle. I was proud of the effort.”

Wet Paint entered the Alabama from a determined neck victory over Sacred Wish in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 22 at the Spa, her first Grade 1 score that came two starts after finishing fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. The talented bay also boasts a trio of stakes coups at Oaklawn Park earlier this year when taking the Martha Washington, Grade 3 Honeybee and Grade 3 Fantasy.

Cox said he and Godolphin have not discussed a potential next start for Wet Paint, but one possibility, among others, could be the Grade 1 Spinster facing older rivals on October 8 at Keeneland with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Santa Anita Park as the main objective.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do moving forward, but we’ll talk with Godolphin and come up with a game plan,” said Cox. “This was our goal this summer and obviously the Breeders’ Cup is everyone’s year-end goal when you’ve got a Grade 1 horse. Maybe Keeneland, but we’ll see. There’s other options for her.”

Salute the Stars gritty in capturing the Pegasus June 17 at Monmouth Park (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Cox sent out Gary and Mary West’s Kentucky homebred Salute the Stars for a half-mile breeze Sunday over Saratoga’s Oklahoma turf training track. The son of Candy Ride, who covered the distance in 49.49 in rein to jockey Florent Geroux, is entered in Tuesday’s Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx, but will scratch from the 1 1/16-mile main track test in favor of a start on turf, according to Cox.

“He broke his maiden on the turf as a 2-year-old and I like him on the dirt – he’s a stakes winner on the dirt – but he could be a horse that’s dual-surface,” said Cox. “I just wanted to see what he looks like on the turf and it was just a solo maintenance work.”

Salute the Stars graduated at second asking on the Ellis Park turf last August and was last seen finishing a distant seventh in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 22 at Monmouth Park, a race he entered from a neck victory in the 1 1/16-mile Pegasus on June 17 at the Oceanport oval.

Cox said he has not pinned down an exact next start for Salute the Stars, but that the colt has been nominated to the Grade 3, $175,000 Saranac on September 1 at the Spa and will be nominated to Colonial Downs’ Grade 3 Virginia Derby on September 9, as well as an undetermined race at Kentucky Downs.

Salute the Stars is out of the Malibu Moon mare Star Sighting, a full-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Farrell, and a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner and sire Carpe Diem, and Grade 1-winner J. B.’s Thunder. He has banked $223,460 through a lifetime record of 5-3-1-0.

What a day for @jonathanstettin who had the Rainbow 6 twice! That’s why he’s the KING!

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