Wet Paint Primed for Alabama

Wet Paint: Ready for an Encore at Saratoga’s Alabama (G1) After Thrilling Victory

Wet Paint is primed for an encore at Saratoga Race Course in the $600,000 Alabama (G1) on Saturday, four weeks after winning the thrilling Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).

Among the nation’s top-rated 3-year-old fillies, Wet Paint is the 2-1 favorite in a competitive field of 10. Sacred Wish, the 10-1 shot edged out by a neck in the final strides of the CCAO, is 8-1 in a bid to turn the tables.
A Kentucky homebred owned by Godolphin, Wet Paint may have finished fourth in the Oaks in May as the favorite and second in the Monomoy Girl at Ellis Park in June, but her resume boasts six victories in nine starts and career earnings of over $1 million.

Despite the previous two races, Michael Banahan, the director of bloodstock for Godolphin, Wet Paint is ready to go 1 ¼ miles.

“The race at Ellis was purely a prep race and when we saw the field and the way it was going to develop, we knew we were up against it,” Banahan. “But we were very pleased with the way she ran and with a paceless race like that, she really knuckled down and ran well,’’ Banahan told the NYRA press office. “In the CCA Oaks, there was concern if she would get there at the end, but you could see her lower her head and make her run at the top of the stretch. We didn’t know if she would get there, but we knew she would try hard. Even in races with not enough pace, she still seems to run her best race.

“She’s doing very well and she’s in great shape,” Banahan added.

The filly is trained by Brad Cox and leaves from post 2 under Flavien Prat.

Since Wet Paint is a closer, Banahan believes the added distance is a plus.

“Her running style and the way she finishes her races makes you think she can stretch out. This is maybe the one and only time these fillies have to go this far, and we just hope that there’s a little bit of pace to run at,” Banahan said. “She goes from way off the pace, and we just want something (to) run at. We’re very hopeful we can get the Alabama on her honor roll.”

Alabama Stakes 2023: Sacred Wish Returns to Defend Title Against Stiff Competition

Sacred Wish, trained by George Weaver, is back to try and fend off Wet Paint. John Velazquez has the call leaving from post 1. Sacred Wish has a maiden win but has finished second three times and third once.

The rest of the field has three fillies from Todd Pletcher’s stable — Gambling Girl (third in the Kentucky Oaks), Grade 1 winner Chocolate Gelato, and Grade 2 winner Julia Shining, the 3-1 third choice. Pletcher is looking for a three-peat in the Alabama, having won with Nest last year and Malathaat in 2021.

Also in the field are the Chad Brown-trained duo of Randomized, the second betting choice at 9-2, and Fireline, as well as Taxed and Sabra Tuff.

Defining Purpose, a 20-1 upset winner in the Ashland (G1) in April, poses a threat as a stalker although Wet Paint has beaten her twice before in the Martha Washington and the Honeybee (G3).

The Alabama post time is 5:45 p.m. ET.

The picks: 1 Wet Paint 2 Gambling Girl 3 Defining Purpose

The field for the $600,000 Alabama (G1), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, odds):

 1. Sacred Wish (John Velazquez, George Weaver), 8-1
2. Wet Paint (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox), 2-1
3. Julia Shining (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher), 5-1
4. Sabra Tuff (Reylou Gutierrez, Dallas Stewart), 30-1
5. Fireline (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown), 12-1
6. Chocolate Gelato (Jose Ortiz, Todd Pletcher), 15-1
7. Gambling Girl (Irad Ortiz, Jr., Todd Pletcher), 8-1
8. Randomized (Joel Rosario, Chad Brown), 9-2
9. Taxed (Rafael Bejarano, Randy Morse), 8-1
10. Defining Purpose (Brian Hernandez, Jr., Ken McPeek), 10-1







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