Wet Paint Commands Center Stage in 2023 Kentucky Oaks

Wet Paint Commands Center Stage in 2023 Kentucky Oaks

By US Racing Team

Godolphin-owned Wet Paint checks most boxes as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Friday.

The Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is the companion event to Saturday’s $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) as Churchill Downs commands center stage this weekend.

The 1 1/8-mile Oaks drew a full field of 14 with three additional hopefuls — Taxed, Julia Shining and Hoosier Philly — waiting in the wings on the also-eligible list to replace any late defections.

Flavien Prat – Courtesy of Santa Anita press release

Wet Paint dominated the three Oaks preps at Oaklawn Park, posting decisive scores in the Martha Washington, the Honeybee (G3) and the Fantasy (G3). She is a perfect 4-for-4 on the main track, losing only twice: on the turf in her debut and on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park.

And she is in the right barn. Trainer Brad Cox is already a two-time Oaks winner with Shedaresthedevil (2020) and Monomoy Girl (2018).

The only obvious flaw is Wet Paint’s running style. She doesn’t own a lick of early speed. A case in point: she dropped 12 lengths off the pace in the Fantasy before powering to a 2 1-/2 length victory.

“She can make you a little nervous with her running style, but overall, she’s just been really consistent,” Cox said.  “You can usually tell at the half-mile or three-eighths pole, if she’s going to put in her run. If she puts in her run, she’s going to be tough.”

Drop-back closers are always at the mercy of the trip and the pace. Cox has every expectation Wet Paint will overcome any scenario.

“She’s won on a wet track, on a fast track,” Cox said. “She’s closed on a slow pace and on a fast pace. She just brings it every time.”

Flavien Prat will be aboard from post 7.

Cox has two additional runners in the race: Botanical, the 4-1 second choice, and The Alys Look at 15-1.

With Wet Paint expected to soak up most of wagering action, some fillies with solid resumes could offer enticing wagering value.

Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Southlawn is 8-1 on the morning line. Defining Purpose won the Ashland (G1) at 20-1 and is listed here at 12-1. Wonder Wheel, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner, hasn’t found her best stride this season in two outings. She has the back class to be a player, at 12-1.

The 13-race program kicks off Friday at 10:30 a.m. (ET). The Kentucky Oaks is the 11th race with a 5:51 p.m. post time.

The field for the Oaks, with riders and morning line odds from the rail out: Mimi Kakushi (Mickael Barzalona, 20-1), The Alys Look (Javier Castellano, 15-1), Gambling Girl (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 15-1), Southlawn (Rey Gutierrez, 8-1), Wonder Wheel (Joel Rosario, 12-1), Botanical (Chris Landeros, 4-1), Wet Paint (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Promiseher America (Jorge Vargas, Jr., 30-1), And Tell Me Nolies (Ramon Vazquez, 15-1), Flying Connection (Florent Geroux, 15-1), Defining Purpose (Brian Hernandez, Jr., 12-1), Dorth Vader (Luis Saez, 20-1), Affirmative Lady (John Velazquez, 10-1) and Pretty Mischievous (Tyler Gaffalione, 10-1).


Kentucky Derby 2023 Odds

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Odds
1 Hit Show Franco Brad H. Cox West, Gary and Mary 30-1
2 Verifying Gaffalione Brad H. Cox Poulin, Jonathan, Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B. 15-1
3 Two Phil’s Loveberry Larry Rivelli Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip 12-1
4 Conficence Game Graham J. Keith Desormeaux Don’t Tell My Wife Stables 20-1
5 Tapit Trice Saez Todd A. Pletcher Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck) 5-1
6 Kinkngbarns J. Ortiz Todd A. Pletcher Spendthrift Farm LLC 12-1
7 Reincartnate Velazquez Tim Yakteen SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine 50-1
8 Mage Castellano Gustavo Delgado OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH 15-1
SCR Skinner Hernandez John A. Shirreffs C R K Stable 20-1
SCR Practical Move Vazquez Tim Yakteen Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean, Amestoy, Leslie A. and Beasley, Roger K. SCR
9 Disarm Rosario Steven M. Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 30/1
10 Jace’s Road Geroux Brad H. Cox West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables LLC 15-1
11 Sun Thunder Hernandez Jr Kenneth G. McPeek R.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine 30-1
12 Angel Of Empire Prat Brad H. Cox Albaugh Family Stables LLC 8-1
13 Forte I. Ortiz JR. Todd A. Pletcher Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable 3-1
14 Raise Can Corrales Ben Colebrook Warren, Andrew and Warren, Rania 15-1
15 Derma Sotogake Lemaire Hidetaka Otonashi Hiroyuki Asanuma 10-1
16 Rocket Can Alvarado William I. Mott Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc. 15-1
SCR Lord Miles Lopez Todd A. Pletcher Vegso Racing Stable 30-1
17 Continuar Sakai Yoshito Yahagi Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd. 50-1
18 Cyclone Mischief J. Rosario D. Romans Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons. 30-1
19 Mandarin Hero Kazushi Kimura Terunobu Fujita Hiroaki Arai. 20-1
20 King Russell Rafael Bejarano Ron Moquett Jones, Brereton C. and Naber Racing, LLC 50-1
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