Ciaglia Racing LLC and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Paved successfully made her dirt and stakes debut on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, but it didn’t come against fellow sophomore fillies.
Instead, the dark bay lass lined up against eight colts and geldings in the $100,900 El Camino Real Derby and easily posted a 1 1/4-length victory as the 2-1 favorite to become the first filly to win the contest.
Calexman took the lead out of the gate, setting splits of :23.60 and :47.82 while tracked by Mugaritz. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke kept Paved down on the rail and the pair found themselves in third rounding the first turn. Choo Choo took up position just outside the filly entering the backstretch, and those four stayed in position until the second bend.
Mugartiz ranged up to take over on the final turn while Paved angled off the rail and outside the new leader. She easily slid on by in the lane to stop the clock in 1:50.04 over the synthetic Tapeta.
Paved was worth $6.20 for the El Camino Real Derby win. The 1 1/8-mile contest is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points races, and offered up 10-4-2-1 points to the respective top four finishers.
Paved isn’t nominated to the May 5 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, but still took home the majority of those points to find herself a spot in the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. Though the early nomination period is closed for the Triple Crown series comprised of the Derby, Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1), her connections can still nominate during the late nomination frame for a higher fee.
City Plan and Blended Citizen both rallied late to be second and third, respectively, while Mugaritz filled the fourth spot 2 3/4 lengths behind. Choo Choo, the 2-1 second choice, came next and was followed under the wire by Could Be the One, Epical, Calexman and Unlawful Act.
Paved is now 4-2-0-2 in her career having banked $104,600 in lifetime earnings. The Michael McCarthy trainee began her career on turf at Santa Anita Park, finishing third last October, before transferring to Del Mar’s green for another third-place finish on November 25. She earned her first win, and a stellar 100 BRIS Speed figure, when returning to Santa Anita’s sod for a 5 1/2-length maiden victory while making her sophomore bow on January 6.
Bred by St. George Farm LLC, Paved is out of the stakes-winning Cozzene mare Sirmione, making her a half-sister to stakes-placed Little Sandy. Her second dam is Grade 2 heroine Desert Digger, and this female family includes Canadian Horse of the Year and successful sire Viceregal.
EL CAMINO REAL DERBY QUOTES
Drayden Van Dyke, jockey Paved, winner
“She’s just a Cadillac. She looked around a little bit towards the end. I think there is more left in there, too. She is very talented.”
Michael McCarthy, trainer Paved, winner
“I thought she ran super today. She got a good position and when (jockey) Drayden (Van Dyke) asked her, she responded nicely.”