By Jay Privman Jul 17, 2019
DEL MAR, Calif. – After an ambitious 2018 campaign that lasted from January through December and saw her travel twice to the Eastern time zone as well as face males in a Kentucky Derby prep race, Paved was given a lengthy vacation, with the plan to bring her back in the summer and focus on the second half of 2019.
That itinerary kicks off Friday at Del Mar, as Paved returns to action in the $85,000 Osunitas Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile grass race for females. She figures to be favored against eight rivals.
Paved, 4, has not been seen in the afternoon since finishing fifth Dec. 29 in the Grade 1 American Oaks. Highlights of her 3-year-old season included a victory over males in the El Camino Real Derby on synthetic, a win in the Grade 2 Honeymoon, and a runner-up finish against older star Vasilika in the Rodeo Drive.
That is the form trainer Michael McCarthy is hoping Paved can emulate in coming months. He said she is ready for her first start following the layoff, but his concern is that her two prior races at Del Mar were not up to her usual standards.
“The break has done her some good,” McCarthy said in the office at his Del Mar barn. “She put on weight, filled out, matured. I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s training. My worry is that she’s never put it together down here. We’ve led her over thinking she’d run big and left scratching our head a few times.”
The Osunitas goes as race 7 on an eight-race card that begins at 4 p.m. Pacific