03/06/2010 1:00AM

Careless Jewel turns it on in work

Barbara D. Livingston
Alabama winner Careless Jewel, shown in a workout last November, picked up the tempo in her most recent work at Palm Meadows training center in Florida and is nearing her 2010 debut.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Careless Jewel, among the dominant members of last year's crop of 3-year-old fillies despite a disappointing performance in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in her season finale, is getting closer to her return.

A winner of five straight races by a combined 33 lengths, including the Grade 1 Alabama by 11 lengths, during her 3-year-old campaign, Careless Jewel has not started since finishing a distant eighth after setting a very fast pace in the Ladies' Classic. A daughter of Tapit, Careless Jewel has had four recorded works this winter at the Palm Meadows training center, the latest a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.20 on Friday.

"Today was the first day we really asked her to pick up the pace a little bit," trainer Josie Carroll said shortly after Friday's work. "I sat her in behind another horse to try to work on chilling her out a little bit. She got a little racy early but then got back off the bridle after going by her workmate and then finished up well. I was very pleased. I thought she'd get a little tired but she really didn't take a deep breath when she got back to the barn."

Carroll said she's still undecided when or where Careless Jewel will make her 2010 debut.

"We're getting a pretty good idea what kind of fitness she's retained but we're still tossing around our direction at the moment," said Carroll. "I think we're still a couple of works away from knowing exactly where we're going with her next."

First Dude's next start uncertain

Several prominent 3-year-olds with designs on major Kentucky Derby preps worked around the south Florida area on Saturday.

At Gulfstream, First Dude breezed five furlongs in 1:01 while Tempted to Tapit cruised an easy half-mile in 47.64 seconds for trainer Steve Klesaris.

First Dude was beaten a nose by his nemesis Fly Down in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race here last month. Trainer Dale Romans said he would "pick a Derby prep somewhere" for First Dude's stakes debut.

Tempted to Tapit shipped to Fair Grounds, where he chased and finished second behind wire-to-wire winner Discreetly Mine in the Risen Star in his stakes debut. Klesaris is considering the Louisiana Derby or Sunland Derby for Tempted to Tapit's next start.

At Palm Meadows, Tuvia's Force worked a bullet half-mile in 47.00 for his expected start Saturday in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby.

World Cup a possibility for Furthest Land

Furthest Land continues to prepare locally for his trip to Dubai. The winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.80 here on Saturday.

Trainer Mike Maker said Furthest Land has been invited to the Dubai Duty Free but that he would switch Furthest Land over to the $10?million Dubai World Cup if they were to receive a late invitation to that event.

* A field of nine or 10 older horses is shaping up for Saturday's $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap. Among those expected to run are This Ones For Phil, Motovato, Congressional Page, Harlem Rocker, Grasshopper, Le Grand Cru, Inkado, Past the Point, You and I Forever, Supreme Summit, and Cool Coal Man.

* Gulfstream Park's annual backstretch picnic will take place Monday, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Tiki bar on the north side of the grandstand.