ARCADIA, CA – Coming from the back of the pack to win it, Paved proved herself by winning Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita Park. This was the first graded stakes win for Paved and her third victory in six career starts.
Animosity broke well from the start and claimed the early lead and was followed by Ms Peintour, Fatale Bere, and Miss Sienna. As they came out of the first turn Animosity had increased her lead to just over three lengths as she set fractions of :23.69 and :47.58. The 6-5 morning line favorite Fatale Bere was the first to move as they approached the second turn, however, the saddle slipped and Fatale Bere with jockey Alonso Quinonez aboard quickly drifted to the rear and eventually finished a distant last. Instead, it was May Girl who put the pressure on Animosity yet her effort was not enough and she too quickly fell back to the rear. With Fatale Bere dropping to the rear, the second favorite, Paved, had a clear path to the front. As they came out of the second turn, Paved moved up from the back of the pack and took an easy lead as she cruised to victory by 3 1/2 lengths. Animosity finished strong for a solid second place finish and was followed by Ms Peintour and Miss Sienna in third and fourth place consecutively.
In her last start in the G3 Providencia Stakes, Paved was ridden by jockey Drayden Van Dyke. However, with Van Dyke in Belmont for the day, the mount was given to jockey Gary Stevens. When asked about the decision to give the mount to Stevens, Aaron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbreds said, “It made sense. Thirteen years ago, I won my first graded stakes race and it was with Gary, in the Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park.”
“You can tell a lot about them working them in the mornings, and I’ve been a fan of hers and watched all her races,” said jockey Gary Stevens. “She’s just a super intelligent filly. We get along great. They told me that she’s a little bit odd around the barn, so maybe that’s why we get along – she doesn’t seem odd to me.”
Paved, a three-year-old filly by of Quality Road, is trained by Michael McCarthy and owned by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Ciaglia Racing.
“The other day, in the Provedencia, she was probably a little more aggressive than I would have liked. She usually pulls for about 1/8 of a mile and comes off the bridle. But, that particular day, she pulled for a good 3/8 of a mile,” said McCarthy. “Today, Gary did a masterful job of getting her to settle in behind horses and she came with a fantastic run.”
Paved returned $5.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Animosity brought back $6.80 to place and $4.20 to show, while Ms Peintour paid $4.80 to show.
Scratch: Finess Bere (Trainer)