Merveilleux added her name to Paynter's impressive list of seven stakes winners in 2020 on Sunday with a commanding victory in the $250,000 Wonder Where S. on the Woodbine turf course.
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The 3-year-old filly previously had finished in the money in a trio of main track stakes starts before her breakthrough win on Sunday. She upped her record to 3-3-1 in 10 starts and earnings to $305,909 for owners Al and Bill Ulwelling.
Trying the mile and a quarter on the turf for the first time, the bay filly was never more than four lengths from the lead as she got a rail trip most of the way. It wasn't until the top of the stretch that jockey Rafael Hernandez swung his filly three-wide to make her run for the lead. She responded immediately and flew past the leaders to win going away by three lengths.
“She’s been hard luck,” said trainer Kevin Attard. “We’ve always liked her a lot. We thought heading into the Oaks (Aug. 15 Woodbine Oaks, when she was third after a very troubled trip) we had the right kind of horse, unfortunately, things haven’t gone her way. Everything lined up our way today and she just had a good trip and ran to our expectations.”
Merveilleux was bred in Ontario by Mike Carroll. The filly's dam Breech Inlet is a sister to graded winner Bauble Queen and stakes winner Leamington.
In addition to his seven stakes winners this year, Paynter leads the 2020 Fourth-Crop sire list by both winners and black type horses, and is second by progeny earnings. He will stand the 2021 season at WinStar for $7,500 S&N.