08/22/2009 12:00AM

Careless Jewel romps in Alabama

Barbara D. Livingston
Careless Jewel, with Robert Landry up, wins Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama by 11 lengths.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - While there was no Rachel Alexandra in Saturday's at Saratoga, there was a Rachel-esque performance turned in by the winner.

What looked like an evenly-matched 129th renewal of the Alabama Stakes on paper turned into a mismatch on the racetrack as Canadian invader Careless Jewel demolished seven 3-year-old fillies to win Saturday's $600,000 Alabama by 11 lengths.

Milwaukee Appeal, a slight favorite over her fellow Canadian-based filly, finished second by 3 3/4 lengths over Casanova Move. They were followed in the order of finish by Sweet and Flawless, Don't Forget Gil, Be Fair, Wynning Ride, and Funny Moon.

The victory was the fourth straight for Careless Jewel, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit owned by Vern and Donna Dubinsky's Donver Stable and trained by Josie Carroll. It was the first stakes victory at Saratoga for Carroll, whose only other Saratoga runner was Brushed Halory, who finished seventh in the 1999 Alabama.

"Doesn't get much better than that," Carroll said. "You never expect to win one like this like that."

There were two anxious moments for Careless Jewel and her backers. First, in the post parade, she was rearing up to the point where jockey Robert Landry had to dismount.

"She was just feeling good, probably not used to the crowd," Landry said.

Second, entering the first turn, Landry had to cross over the heels of Be Fair, under Julien Leparoux, in order to get outside of that rival. But once Landry got Careless Jewel to the outside, she did relax some, stalking Be Fair through an opening quarter of 23.33 seconds, a half-mile in 47.35, and six furlongs in 1:12.14.

Entering the far turn, Careless Jewel began to leave Be Fair behind and by the quarter pole she was three lengths in front, at the eighth pole she was seven in front and kept on widening as Landry stayed busy under left-handed encouragement.

Careless Jewel covered the 1 1/4 miles over a track labeled good in 2:03.24 and returned $7.80.

"I couldn't get her back and Julien was making it tight, and finally he come over a little quicker than I would have liked him to," said Landry, who rode just his fifth mount at Saratoga and first since Nigon, who was third in 2004 Jim Dandy. "But I jumped his heels, and she overcame it and she prevailed. I'm really, really proud of her to be able to respond like that after being a little hot in the post parade."

Careless Jewel had won her two previous two-turn races in front-running fashion, including the Delaware Oaks by seven lengths. But Carroll was confident that if Careless Jewel needed to be off the pace, she could.

"Fortunately, we were right," Carroll said.

Scott Fairlie, the trainer of Milwaukee Appeal, saluted his fellow Canadian and was happy with the way his filly ran.

"That filly ran through the bridle," Fairlie said of Careless Jewel, before adding that Milwaukee Appeal "got a perfect trip. She was just second best today."