Careless Jewel has taken Vern and Donna Dubinsky to winner’s circles they never thought possible, especially for a horse who cost only $40,000. The nearly white 3-year-old filly will be the Dubinskys’ first Breeders’ Cup starter, and she could go off as the favorite or second choice in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I).
"You dream about these things, but we never expected to be here," said Vern Dubinsky while taking in the gorgeous weather at Santa Anita Nov. 3.
Careless Jewel seems to enjoy the weather as well. She worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride in 1:11 1/5 Oct. 27 and is galloping up to the Breeders’ Cup. The filly has experience over a synthetic track, as she has won two of three races over such surfaces. Her trainer, Josie Carroll, is based at Woodbine, which has Polytrack.
The Dubinskys breed horses at their farm outside of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. They sell and pinhook a few, but they get the most enjoyment out of racing. Ciaran Dunne bought Careless Jewel, a daughter of Tapit —Sweet and Careless, by Hennessy, for $40,000 for them at the 2007 Keeneland fall yearling sale.
"We were going to buy three fillies with a little bit of pedigree as broodmare prospects," said Vern. "Ciaran said we would spend about $100,000 for each."
While the first two cost six figures, they were able to get Careless Jewel for just $40,000. Since then the little dynamo has barely put a foot wrong. Perhaps the most excitement she has given the Dubinskys was her 11-length victory in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
"Winning the Alabama might be the biggest thing ever," said Dubinsky. "It was so cool—it was just the best. People wanted us to run in the Test (gr. I) because she’s really fast. But I didn’t want to have just a sprinter. I wanted something that could go on."
A calm, sweet horse around the barn, Careless Jewel tossed her rider, Robert Landry, twice before the Alabama.
"It was a little bit unusual, but it might have been the crowd," said Dubinsky. "Then she almost went down on the first turn, and then she just romps."
Dubinsky realizes that Careless Jewel will be facing an experienced group of older distaffers in the Ladies’ Classic.
"I think they’re all good," said Dubinsky, though he admits to worrying most about the Godolphin pair of Music Note and Cocoa Beach.
Given her record coupled with the fact that she may be the lone speed in the Ladies’ Classic, connections of the others in the race will certainly worry about Careless Jewel.