Caledonia Road gave trainer Ralph Nicks his first career Breeders’ Cup victory in the Grade 1 Juvenile Fillies on November 4, drawing off late under Mike Smith.
The Quality Road daughter is owned by Zoom and Fish Stable Inc., Charlie Spiring, and Newtown Anner Stud, who bought in after her promising second to Separationofpowers in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes on October 8. Bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina brokered the deal. Newton Anner is also owner of Dark Templar, an impressive debut winner at Churchill Downs that same afternoon. The juvenile colt by Tapit was purchased for $475,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September sale by Sallusto & Albina on behalf of their longtime clients.
“Exhilaration. Total, complete exhilaration,” said Nick Sallusto, Newtown Anner’s bloodstock representative along with Hanzly Albina. “Everything that goes into this behind the scenes, and of course all the hopes and wants of my good clients like Maurice and Samantha Regan, that means the world to us.” Maurice Regan added, “It’s always good to have a dream, isn’t it? We’ll enjoy this ride today and look forward to the next day.”
Moonshine Memories, the 2-1 favorite, grabbed the early lead, as expected, but Alluring Star never let her shake loose when clinging to her outside flank into the first turn and on into the second turn. Approaching the quarter pole, as Moonshine Memories began to fade, Alluring Star surged to an open lead, but Caledonia Road was well under way with a looping outside run.
In the middle of the final turn, “I could tell the front-runners were being hard pressed at the time,” said Nicks. “I said to myself, ‘Just maintain your momentum, and we’ll get there.’ ”
Indeed, inside the furlong pole, Caledonia Road went past without resistance to become one of the early favorites for the 2018 Kentucky Oaks.
“She was dynamite,” Smith said. “She was much more forwardly placed than I expected her to be, to be honest. She was up there intent on getting into the game and running good. She was in a good rhythm, breathing well. I gave her a breather from the half-mile pole to the three-and-a half because she kind of wanted one. When I stepped on the accelerator again, man, she jumped back on it and I knew I was going to be live from that point on.”
Nicks has run in the Breeders’ Cup twice before — in 2006 and 2015 — both times in the Juvenile Fillies.
“She keeps going forward,” said Nicks. “I don’t know what the ceiling is. What can you say? She’s a Breeders’ Cup champion now. So, hopefully she’ll be 2-year-old champion now. Let’s just hope the racing gods allow us to get to [the Kentucky Oaks] in good shape.”
Later on the Breeders’ Cup card another Sallusto & Albina private purchase, Beach Patrol, ran a game second to Talsimatic as the second wagering choice in the Turf for the partnership of James Covello, Head of Plains Partners and Sheep Pond Partners.
Caledonia Road and Beach Patrol add to the long history of Breeders Cup success achieved by Sallusto & Albina clients over the past several years.