Breaking from the outside post in the 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, jockey Gary Stevens—riding for the first time—guided Paved to the rail behind the field where the 9-5 second choice raced comfortably. Meanwhile, Animosity ran to a clear lead, setting fractions of :23.69, :47.58, and 1:11.91 through six furlongs.
Near the quarter pole the runners bunched closer to the leader, but Animosity remained unfazed. Emerging from the pack, Paved was able to cut the corner coming into the stretch and galloped out with momentum that carried her to a 3 1/2-length victory over the frontrunner in 1:48.57 over the firm turf.
"The trip was great," Stevens said. "My most important job was getting cover for her—getting behind horses going into the first turn so she would relax. Immediately she dropped off for me and was just listening for her cue when it was time to go. She never got that cue until the hole opened up on the fence at the head of the stretch, and it was over within a matter of strides."
The winner returned $5.80, $3.40, and $2.80 across the board. Animosity paid $6.80 and $4.20 for second, while Ms Peintour got up for third to return $4.80. The 6-5 favorite, Fatale Bere, finished last of seven after rating behind the pacesetter for much of the going.
"The saddle slipped going into the first turn," jockey Alonso Quinonez said of Fatale Bere. "I had a hold of her and I could see it moving forward. I thought maybe it would be alright, but she was pulling ... By the time we got to the top of the stretch, it was impossible."
Trained by Michael McCarthy, Paved placed third in the April 7 Providencia Stakes (G3T) at the same course and distance in her most recent start. The Quality Road filly broke her maiden Jan. 6 after two third-place efforts in as many starts as a 2-year-old. She followed the score with a 1 1/4-length win in the Feb. 17 El Camino Real Derby, a Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) prep race in which she defeated Blended Citizen, who finished third.
"The blinkers have helped her get a little bit focused but it still seems like she's a little bit better when she makes one run," McCarthy said. "In the Providencia she was probably a little more aggressive than I would have liked. She usually pulls for about an eighth of a mile and comes off the bridle. But, that particular day, she pulled for a good three-eighths of a mile. Today, Gary did a masterful job of getting her to settle in behind horse and she came with a fantastic run."
Bred in Kentucky by St. George Farm, Paved is out of the stakes-winning Cozzene mare Sirmione, who has four other winners from as many foals. Her record of 3-0-3 from six starts brought her earnings to $242,640.
Joe Ciaglia bought Paved as a yearling for $130,000 from the Lane's End consignment to the Keeneland September sale as a pinhook prospect. He then offered her at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March 2-year-olds in training sale through Hoppels Horse & Cattle consignment, where Eclipse Thoroughbreds went to $320,000 to secure the filly. However, after the sale Ciaglia expressed interest in staying on board and partnered with Eclipse.