‘It Was Something Spectacular’: Nicks Reflects On Caledonia Road’s Breeders’ Cup Win

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion Caledonia Road enjoyed celebrity status at Gulfstream Park Wednesday morning as she settled into her stall in trainer Ralph Nicks’ barn.

The 2-year-old daughter of Quality Road closed from off the pace to win Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar going away by 3 ¼ lengths, giving her trainer the first Breeders’ Cup victory of his career.

“If it was a dream, I don’t want to wake up. It was something spectacular,” Nicks said. “It was very rewarding, being involved in the purchase of her as a yearling with (Zoom and Fish Stable’s) Luke (Paiement) to mapping out her whole journey.”

Caledonia Road, who went into the Juvenile Fillies off a maiden score at Saratoga and a second-place finish in the Frizette (G2) at Belmont Park, caught Nicks’ eye at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale after Paiement’s catalogue work identified the Florida-bred filly as a good prospect.

“She had a lot of leg on her and got across the ground well,” Nicks said. “The things you can’t see when you’re buying yearlings is the desire and heart and the quality of the racehorse.”

Caledonia Road displayed all those things in winning the Juvenile Fillies, establishing herself as a strong candidate for major stakes for 3-year-old fillies next year.

“The Oaks will be the main goal. It’s just a matter of finding the best way to get there,” Nicks said.

Blonde Bomber has also settled in nicely at Gulfstream Park after returning from Del Mar on a plane with Caledonia Road in the early hours of Sunday morning. Arindel Farm’s homebred filly finished third behind Caledonia Road in the Juvenile Fillies.

The daughter of Fort Larned, who had won back-to-back races at Gulfstream before being shipped to Southern California, trailed the 13-horse field for the first half mile before making a strong late bid to finish just a neck behind runner-up Alluring Star..

“I wish she could have been a half-length closer, then she would have been second,” said trainer Stanley Gold, who deputized assistant Jocelyn Kenny to saddle Blonde Bomber as he watched the race on his cellphone in South Florida. “I’m happy. We didn’t know if she was good enough off just the one distance race, so we said, ‘Let’s find out.’ ”

Blonde Bomber made her debut around two turns in the Juvenile Fillies.

“We haven’t even talked about where we’ll go from her,” Gold said. “She’ll certainly get another try against tough company.”

Gulfstream-based Curlin’s Approval, who was never a factor in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), is scheduled to return from Southern California Wednesday afternoon.

“She stumbled coming out of the gate and never had a chance,” said trainer Happy Alter, who owns the daughter of Curlin in partnership with Bridlewood Farm. “She came back feeling like she was cheated out of a race. She came out of the race really well.”

The post ‘It Was Something Spectacular’: Nicks Reflects On Caledonia Road’s Breeders’ Cup Win appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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