“She’s doing really well,” Carroll said. “She’s done everything right so far. She seems to be steadily improving (from race to race) and I hope the trend continues on Friday.”
The filly has turned heads all year, winning five of six starts after finishing third in a maiden special weight race at Keeneland on April 5. Not only has she won five straight, but she’s dominated the competition, winning those last five by over 32 lengths. Her most impressive race of all was the Alabama, in which she drew away for an 11-length triumph despite being steadied sharply.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame includes many past Alabama winners. Carroll is very proud of the fact that the history books now include Careless Jewel among past Alabama winners like Shuvee, Franfreleuche, Life’s Magic, Open Mind, Silverbulletday, Sky Beauty, Go For Wand, and Mom’s Command.
“Look back at all of the names over all of the years. Now forever she’ll be among them,” Carroll said. “She didn’t just win the Alabama, she did it in such a dominating performance and it means a great deal to me.”
As for the list of names of past Alabama winners, Carroll is the only woman who has a victory in the race.
“It is a great honor, but I don’t even think about being the only woman,” Carroll said. “My gender never helped me or hurt me. I’ve faced the same challenges as any other trainer coming up through the ranks. It’s nice to be the only woman, but what is really nice is to have a horse like this one. To have one like her is what I have dreamed about.”
Cocoa Beach - The 2008 runner-up in the Ladies’ Classic headed out with the first set of Godolphin contenders Wednesday morning, taking to the Santa Anita main track at 5:10 a.m. along with fellow Ladies’ Classic contender Music Note and Filly & Mare Sprint runner Seventh Street.
“Careless Jewel looks like she’s going to be loose on the lead; our two fillies have drawn six and seven,” Rick Mettee, United States assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, said. “(Jockey) Richard (Migliore) got a feel for Cocoa Beach when she finished third the other day (in the Oct. 10 Lady’s Secret), and I think he learned a lot about her. We think she’s gone forward off the race and has come back with some good works here, so we’re expecting a little better race from her.”
Cocoa Beach has just one victory to her credit in 2009 – a score on turf in the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 5. The 5yo daughter of Doneraile Court finished second to Zenyatta in the 2008 edition of the Ladies’ Classic; stablemate Music Note was third.
Lethal Heat – Trainer Barry Abrams sent out his Ladies’ Classic prospect to gallop 1 1/2m after a walk in the Santa Anita paddock as she continued her preparation for Friday’s premier race.
The trainer had little quarrel with the 20-1 morning line on his 4yo daughter of Unusual Heat, but was quick to say that he believes his super-consistent filly will be even-money to be in most bettors’ exotic wagers.
Lethal Heat has been no worse than fourth in her last 10 races, dating back to a sixth-place finish in Hollywood Park’s Flawlessly Stakes July 4, 2008. In only one of those 10 starts did the filly finish worse than third. She’s been second in her last three starts.
Life Is Sweet – Asked if Life Is Sweet would miss stablemate Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic, trainer John Shirreffs just smiled and did not say a word.
Since winning three straight stakes at Santa Anita last winter, including the Santa Margarita Handicap, Life Is Sweet has lost four straight starts, three in races won by Zenyatta and a third-place finish behind males in the Hollywood Gold Cup.
Life Is Sweet galloped once around the main track at Santa Anita Wednesday under exercise rider Isabelle Bournez after being shipped from her training base at Hollywood Park on Tuesday.
A full-sister to 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Eclipse Award winner Sweet Catomine, Life Is Sweet is a homebred owned by Pam and Marty Wygod.
Mushka – Brushwood Stable’s Mushka went out for a leisurely gallop with exercise rider Leanna Willford Wednesday morning in preparation for her fourth stakes start since Aug. 1 in Friday’s Ladies’ Classic. The 4yo filly won two of those races, including the Spinster on the Polytrack at Keeneland in her most recent outing.
“She’s 2-for-2 on the synthetics (won an allowance at Keeneland in April), so that’s encouraging,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won this race with Ajina (1997) and Escena (1998) when it was known as the Distaff. “She’s also 3-for-4 at the distance (1 1/8 m).”
A $1.6 million purchase at the Saratoga Sale of 2006, Mushka has won 6-of-16 starts, 10 of which came on grass. She took the Glens Falls Handicap on the Saratoga Inner Turf Course before winning the Spinster via disqualification.
Music Note – The 4yo A.P. Indy filly took to the Santa Anita main track before sunrise at 5:10 a.m. on Wednesday morning. As is usual with Godolphin Breeders’ Cup runners, Music Note will shedrow Thursday before making her start Friday.
Last year Music Note ran third behind Zenyatta and Cocoa Beach in the Ladies’ Classic. This year she comes into the race off a pair of New York victories in the Beldame at Belmont Park and the Ballerina at Saratoga.
“She can lay anywhere. She stalked the Ballerina going seven-eighths in the mud, so she doesn’t have to get that far back in the race,” Rick Mettee, U.S. assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor said. “I’d like to think both her and Cocoa Beach are coming up to the race in good shape.”
Music Note’s final prep for the Ladies’ Classic was an Oct. 29 move through 5f in 59 2/5, third of 35 timed works at the distance. Rajiv Maragh, aboard for her last two victories, gets the mount.
Proviso – The 4yo filly Proviso got her first look at Santa Anita Park Wednesday, galloping 1 1/4m under exercise rider Salvador Martinez after being shipped from Hollywood Park on Tuesday.
"She has adapted well," said Ruben Loza, an assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel. The Juddmonte Farms homebred joined the Frankel stable in California after her United States debut in the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 10. She finished first but was disqualified to second for interference in the stretch.
Proviso, who was trained in France by Andre Fabre in her first 15 starts, will break from post five under John Velazquez.
Rainbow View – Proven as a top-level performer on grass in Europe, the 3yo filly Rainbow View will run in the Ladies’ Classic because Forever Together, also bred and owned by George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, will try for a repeat victory in the Filly & Mare Turf.
All 11 of Rainbow View’s career starts have been made on turf.
“I think Mr. Strawbridge is right,” trainer John Gosden said. “Rather than run them together, he’d rather run in two races. And she’s training well. She likes this main track. She worked in 1:00 4/5. I’m happy with it. I’m pleased with the way she moved on the track.”
Rainbow View, a daughter of Dynaformer, finished second as the favorite in the E.P. Taylor at Woodbine on Oct. 17 and was shipped directly from Toronto to Santa Anita. The E.P. Taylor was her seventh start of the season.
“She’s raced quite a bit,” Gosden said. “She’s a tough little character. I think to that extent she’s handled it very well. She’s come down fine from Woodbine. I think she’s a filly that the more you challenge her, the more she likes it.”
Julien Leparoux, who rode Rainbow View at Woodbine, will be up again on Friday.