Caledonia Road, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, returned to the work tab April 11 at Palm Meadows Training Center, firing a bullet half-mile in :48.35.
The daughter of Quality Road missed some training recently because of a viral infection, according to trainer Ralph Nicks, but she is back with the goal of reaching the June 9 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park off a single prep race.
"She's good," Nicks said Friday. "She's gotten over a little viral thing she had. Her work was as good as I could ever hope for. Afterward, she's in great shape, has a great attitude. All is well."
Nicks said following her bullet move March 15 at Palm Meadows (:48.30 for a half-mile), she "was a little dull and was a little 'out of the tub.'
"Her blood work was a little out of whack, and she just wasn't right. She was a little lethargic, and it took her a bit to get over that."
With the strong move this week in South Florida, Nicks and the connections have turned their thoughts to Caledonia Road starting her 3-year-old campaign. Instead of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), the target appears to be the Acorn. The one-turn mile race, worth $700,000, is one of six grade 1 events on the Belmont Stakes Day program.
"The main goal is the Acorn," Nicks confirmed, "with an undecided prep beforehand. I don't know when it will happen or at what racetrack, but we'll try to have one prep before the Acorn."
Bred in Florida by Vegso Racing Stable, Caledonia Road is out of the Dixie Union mare Come a Callin. She was a $140,000 purchase by Nicks and Luc Paiement's Zoom and Fish Stable from Eaton Sales' consignment to the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale. Racing for Zoom and Fish and Charlie Spiring, she ran second in last fall's Frizette Stakes (G1), then claimed the championship with a surprising 3 1/4-length score at odds of 17-1 in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) with Newtown Anner Stud joining the ownership ranks.
As for the coming campaign in 2018, Nicks said: "Everybody's on board for doing right by her and getting her ready for the rest of the year. It's a little bit of a late start, but there are a lot of good races that we'd like to try to make with her."