Bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina have been helping their clients live the dream of thoroughbred ownership for many years. Topped off by another Breeders’ Cup victory, November, 2017 was an especially rewarding month.
The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships have long been the playground of Sallusto & Albina clients with previous winners like Mile champion Kip Deville and Sprint hero Silver Train. Caledonia Road added to that legacy with thrilling victory in the November 4 Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar.
According to trainer Ralph Nicks, Sallusto had taken notice of Caledonia Road earlier this year while inspecting other horses he had in his barn. After a sneaky-good second in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes, Nick and Hanzly were able to broker a deal to bring longtime client Newton Anner Stud into the original partnership of Zoom and Fish Stable and Charlie Spiring.
“Exhilaration. Total, complete exhilaration,” Sallusto said after watching the filly’s explosive Breeders’ Cup stretch run at Del Mar. “Everything that goes into this behind the scenes, and of course all the hopes and wants of my good clients like (Newton Anner’s) Maurice and Samantha Regan, that means the world to us.”
“Two years and two Grade 1 fillies, Caledonia Road and Off the Tracks, What more can I say,” added Maurice Regan. Sallusto, along with partner Hanzly Albina, also helped Regan partner with J Stables prior to Off the Track’s victory in the 2016 Mother Goose Stakes (G1).
Caledonia Road wasn’t the only private purchase starring on this year’s Breeders’ Cup world stage. Beach Patrol was sent off as the 3-1 second choice in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after reeling off consecutive victories in the Arlington Million (G1) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Inv. (G1). After a good break from a rough outside post he looked the winner all the way around the Del Mar course before succumbing to the late run of European invader Talismatic. The four-year-ols was beaten just a half-length while finishing a neck in front of last year’s Turf hero Highland Reel.
Sallusto & Albina put together the partnership of James Covello, Head of Plains Partners, LLC and Sheep Pond Partners that purchased Beach Patrol from Gary and Mary West back in the spring of 2016.
Covello summed up the Breeders’ Cup performance perfectly in a post race tweet: “So proud of Beach Patrol. One of the hardest trying horses you will ever see. Ran tremendous. Horse of a lifetime.”
Both Caledonia Road and Beach Patrol are expected to garner strong support among Eclipse Award voters in their respective divisions.
There was additional fist-pumping and cheering directed 2,083 miles to the east that afternoon, all the way to Churchill Downs, where Dark Templar flashed some brilliance winning his debut. The Tapit colt was purchased by Sallusto & Albina at last year’s Keeneland September sale for $475,000 and now carries the Newton Anner silks. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the flashy colt sat just off the early pace before drawing away to a 1 ¼ length victory in the six furlong contest.
Newton Anner had success as a breeder five days later when Moondance scored her Maiden victory in New York. Bred and raised by Sallusto & Albina for Newton Anner, the Malibu Moon miss sold to Ramona Bass and Cheyenne Stables for $800,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga auction.
On November 20 at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada, private purchase Grace and Dignity made her stakes debut in the $100,000 Glorious Song Stakes. Off as the odds-on favorite the two-year-old filly was bullied into an early speed duel but held on bravely for second money. Sallusto & Albina secured an interest in the filly for Michael Iavarone of Big Brown fame.
The sensational month was capped off by private purchase Stallwalkin’ Dude, who has become one of the most popular runners on the NYRA circuit. The 7-year-old gelding was the star of Thanksgiving Day at Aqueduct, scoring in the 104th running of the Fall Highweight (G3). He races for trainer David Jacobson and Head of Plains Partners. The Fall Highweight was his 7th stakes victory, 2nd at the Graded level and 20th overall victory.
“It’s always good to have a dream, isn’t it. We’ll enjoy this ride and look forward to the next day,” Maurice Regan said after Caledonia Road left the Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle. After a month like this there is certainly much to enjoy, and much to dream about in days ahead.