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Wet Paint runs down Sacred Wish in G1 Coaching Club American Oaks


Wet Paint recorded a first G1 victory as she unleashed a late surge to collar Sacred Wish close home in the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, USA, on Saturday, 22 July.

Trained by Brad Cox, the Blame homebred had already announced herself as a top three-year-old filly with a clean sweep of Oaks trials at Oaklawn Park prior to finishing fourth behind Pretty Mischievous in the Kentucky Oaks.

After receiving an early bump exiting the stalls in the nine-furlong feature, Wet Paint was held up in last of the five runners by Flavien Prat, six lengths behind the pace-setting She’s Looking Lucky. Wet Paint started to make her move around the field as Sacred Wish took up the running just inside the final quarter-mile.

Sacred Wish kicked on a furlong and a half from home and still had three lengths in hand on a closing Wet Paint passing the furlong-pole. Wet Paint continued to bear down on Sacred Wish, getting up near the line to prevail by a neck as the front two pulled eight and a half lengths clear of Kentucky Oaks runner-up Gambling Girl.

Flavien Prat said: “I thought that I was going to get there turning for home but Sacred Wish really kept on going. I was a bit worried at the eight-pole, although Wet Paint is such a cool filly. She always gives you everything and was super today.”

Brad Cox said: “It was huge to get a G1 with Wet Paint. She accomplished so much this winter at Oaklawn – three big races and then she ran well in the Kentucky Oaks, when she was very unlucky probably to not be third. Her last race [at Ellis Park] was a good run and I was very happy with it. We were using it as a stepping-stone to this race.

“The Alabama Stakes is the logical spot moving forward. We will talk it over with the Godolphin team, but I think a mile and a quarter is definitely something she is going to be able to handle, based off her running style, and she showed today that she likes Saratoga.”