February 22, 2024

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Quotes & Transcript

Calendonia Road wins the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar with Mike Smith up on Saturday, November 4, 2017 (c) Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Winning trainer Ralph Nicks (Caledonia Road)

“This filly has come into her own this fall and her timing was impeccable. This run down the stretch is kind of her style. This is my first win and it’s on my third try. It’s just amazing.”

Winning jockey Mike Smith (Caledonia Road)

“She was dynamite. 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.”

Second-place trainer Bob Baffert (Alluring Star)

“She ran her heart out and I’m proud of her, but these second-place finishes are piling up and are tough. We try to win these things. But, all you can hope for is that your horse shows up and she ran well.”

Second-place jockey Joe Talamo (Alluring Star)

“We had a really good trip. I didn’t think Flavien (Prat on Moonshine Memories) was going to go out there so fast, but my filly was comfortable tracking off her. Turning for home I really thought we were going to get there. This filly has a big future. It was only her third start and she tried hard.”

Third-place assistant trainer to Stanley Gold Jocelyne Kenny (Blonde Bomber)

“She ran amazing and I am so, so pleased with her. It was such a hot pace up front and we really didn’t want her that far back, but honestly, I have no complaints. She definitely got far back and had a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to make up but they went :22 and :46 on the front end and that’s fast. It was her first time going two turns, and her first time with this kind of company. She’s never run in graded stakes company. I haven’t to talked to Stan yet back in Florida, but I am sure that he’s thrilled.”

Third-place jockey Jose Lezcano (Blonde Bomber)

“She ran really good. She broke good, but couldn’t keep up with the speedy horses early. I let her go to the back. I followed Mike at the half-mile pole. She picked up, but couldn’t get there.”

Trainer Simon Callaghan (beaten favorite Moonshine Memories, 7th)

“She got pressure all the way around, Alluring Star wouldn’t leave her alone, It’s tough to have that kind of pressure. I’m disappointed, but I’m happy with her.”

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Maurice Regan
Ralph Nicks
Luke Paiement
Nick Sallusto

THE MODERATOR: The winner of the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is Caledonia Road. Jockey Mike Smith is unavailable; he’s actually doing some NBC interviews. But we’re joined by winning trainer Ralph Nicks, his first Breeders’ Cup victory, and on the right we have Nick Sallusto, the racing manager for Newtown Anner Stud, and we have winning owner Luke Paiement, appropriate, and then Maurice Regan, also Newtown.

Congratulations to you all, and thank you for joining us down here. Ralph, I’ll start with you. If maybe you could give us your impressions of the way the race unfolded to start.

RALPH NICKS: Obviously, we didn’t like the outside post. We were hoping it would go quick enough early, and I seen Mike trying to make an adjustment going into the first turn to get over, and it wasn’t meant to be. From there on she stayed wide and clear running, and she just was the best.

THE MODERATOR: As you saw the fractions go up, how did that make you feel?

RALPH NICKS: Honestly, I wasn’t paying attention; I was watching her. I was watching her posture.

THE MODERATOR: Around the turn she really accelerated. What did you see when she started to move and how did you feel?

RALPH NICKS: In the middle of the turn, I said maintain your momentum. I could tell the front runners were being hard-pressed at the time, and it was just maintain your momentum and you’ll get there.

Q. You told me a few minutes ago that actually you really liked your chances this week. Just talk about her preparations coming into this race and how you trained her, how you got her ready for this.

RALPH NICKS: Stayed out of her way, pretty much. It was close between races, so we didn’t overdo it. Little schooling and let her be happy.

Q. How does it feel to win a Breeders’ Cup Race and win one on this stage?

RALPH NICKS: Growing up the way I did, and working for Mott for 13 years with the champions there, and getting to witness it and be part of it on that stage and get to do it for myself, it’s very, very special.

Q. Luke, this was a $140,000 Keeneland purchase. Can you just talk about the acquisition of this filly and how you found her and who picked her out?

LUKE PAIEMENT: It’s teamwork. We picked her. I look at the book, he looked at the confirmation, and here we go, here we are.

THE MODERATOR: For either of you, what stood out at that time, whether on the page or as she’s standing in front of you?

RALPH NICKS: Well, Luke’s the catalog guy, and I look at the individuals. I selected. She was big and leggy and really rangy. So she looked like the two-turn type.

Q. Ralph, three races in, you got an idea about how good she is right now?

RALPH NICKS: Well, I mean, she keeps going forward. I don’t know what the ceiling is. What can you say? She’s a Breeders’ Cup champion now. A two-year-old champion, right?

Q. Yeah, usually a two-year-old champion, and also the early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks. So not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but you can’t help but think about that, I imagine?

RALPH NICKS: Let’s just hope the racing gods allow us to get there in good shape.

Q. Let’s hear from the other guys on the ends. From Newtown, just your feelings in the aftermath of a Breeders’ Cup win?

NICK SALLUSTO: Exhilaration. Total, complete exhilaration. 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.

Q. Thoughts on having a likely champion, and the early Kentucky Oaks favorite?

MAURICE REGAN: It’s always good to have a dream, isn’t it? We’ll enjoy the this ride today and look forward to the next day.

Q. Ralph, has Mike ridden for you much before, and if so, do you give him fewer instructions than you might for your other riders?

RALPH NICKS: Well, oddly enough, this is the first horse that Mike has ridden for me. But when I was 16 and I was an a prentice jockey, we rode together and have been good friends since then. So we have a lot of stories and a lot of back history as kids growing up.

Q. Ralph, where did you ride as a bug-boy?

RALPH NICKS: Louisiana Downs.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports