Ciaglia Racing and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Paved became the first filly to win the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby Feb. 17 with a 1 1/4-length score in Northern California’s lone Triple Crown prep race at Golden Gate Fields.
Her connections don’t have Derby fever—instead they’re pointing to the bevy of quality turf races for fillies in 2018—but her victory over the synthetic main track was impressive nonetheless.
The Quality Road filly, who broke her maiden by 5 1/2 lengths on the Santa Anita Park grass course last time out Jan. 6, stalked the early pace with co-favorite and last-out California Derby winner Choo Choo on her outside, quickened as her rival tired in the final turn, and wore down Mugaritz in the stretch under jockey Drayden Van Dyke.
She had a clear lead in the final sixteenth, and late closers City Plan and Blended Citizen made bids late, but could not get to their female rival, who finished off the 1 1/8-mile test in 1:50.04.
“She’s very push-button. She’s got a lot of ability and she’s kinda—I don’t want to say she’s quirky, but she looked around a little bit at the end,” Van Dyke said. “There’s definitely a lot more left. ”