The cleverly-named Dark Artist became freshman sire Paynter’s first winner Sunday at Monmouth Park with a 1 ½-length score in a six-furlong maiden special weight affair for 2-year-old fillies.
Dark Artist found herself along the rail after the first furlong despite breaking from post five in the seven-horse field. Tucked neatly in third around the turn, the bay filly switched outside twice around horses in the stretch before powering past Beach Girl in deep stretch to win going away.
Dark Artist owned by Goodwood Racing VIII and was bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds and WinStar Farm. She is out of the Storm Cat mare Ominous Cat and is from the same family as multiple Grade 1 winner Fleet Renee and Del Mar Futurity (G2) winner Future Quest.
For Paynter, Dark Artist’s win harkens back to her sire’s greatest triumph five years ago in the 2012 Haskell Inv. (G1). Battling back from a life-threatening illness following that win, Paynter would go on to win more than $1.1 million before retiring to WinStar Farm, where he bred more than 430 mares in his first three seasons at stud.