03/18/2010 11:00PM

Careless Jewel targets La Troienne

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BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Careless Jewel, whose exploits during her 3-year-old season were overshadowed by divisional champion and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is moving closer to her 4-year-old debut.

In her most serious move of the winter, Careless Jewel drilled five furlongs in 1:00.60 Friday morning at Palm Meadows, the fastest of 12 workouts at the distance. Palm Meadows clockers timed her first quarter in 24.20 seconds and three-eighths in 36.20, meaning she came home in 24.40. Careless Jewel galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20 and pulled up seven furlongs in 1:27.20.

"I thought it was as nice as she could go,'' trainer Josie Carroll said afterward. "She relaxed early and finished strong. That was a real step forward today.''

Carroll said she and owners Vern and Donna Dubinsky are leaning toward running Careless Jewel in the $300,000 La Troienne Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race at Churchill Downs on April 30, Kentucky Oaks Day. Carroll said one reason is to get Careless Jewel over the surface on which the Breeders' Cup will be run this year.

"I'd absolutely like to get her over that surface, and the ultimate goal is really next fall,'' Carroll said.

Careless Jewel has not raced since she set a torrid pace and finished last in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface last November. Prior to that, she had won five consecutive races, including the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, Grade 1 Alabama, and Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park.

"She did an awful lot in a very short time, which is probably what had her pretty geared up by the end,'' Carroll said. "She didn't get started until the spring of last year, and then between traveling and running in some pretty tough spots it just played on her a little bit. Now we're seeing her back where she started last year. Hopefully, we can maintain that.''