August 23, 2009

Jewel of the North

The New York Racing Association has found sponsors in TVG and Betfair to add another $400,000 to the purse of the Beldame, raising the kitty of the Grade 1 affair to a cool million. The purse raise is dependent on the entry of both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. After yesterday’s Alabama, there is reason to hope for some competition for the big two.

It was not all candy and rainbows for bettors who placed their hard-earned dollars (unless they make their living by betting on horses) on the nose of Careless Jewel. She was so fractious in the post parade, that her Canadian jock, Robert Laundry had to take a flying leap off. Apparently the beautiful, gray daughter of Tapit was a little over stimulated by the Saratoga crowd. Once in the gate, she was ready to run, but her troubles were not over. Laundry decided to let Be Fair take the early lead and heading into the first turn he had to check Careless Jewel sharply to avoid Be Fair who was taking the rail spot. These are not good signs for an inexperienced filly making just her fifth career start, going 3/16 farther than she has ever run and taking on Grade 1 fillies for the first time.

Not a worry in the world after that, like a silver streak, The Josie Carroll trained filly took over the lead when she was ready and continued to pour it on the rest of the way. It was a ways back to another Canadian miss, Milwaukee Appeal, as Careless Jewel crossed the line 11 lengths the best. The sky appears to be the limit for her as she improves with every race. Her winning margin is increasing as the competition gets tougher, which begs the question; is she ready for Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta or both? Maybe not, but only time will tell. It would be a lot to ask, but Careless Jewel does allow for the imagination to run wild.

As for the Beldame, yours truly is still very skeptical of the big mare from California making the trip, but if it happens, it would be even more special with a little gray flair.


Ernie said...

We can only pray that Zenyatta comes East. Can you imagine! The event itself would be the story---a huge home run for racing, not matter who wins. Zenyatta can write her ticket to the pantheon by bring down Rachel. Of course I'd pick Rachel, but I'd quake in fear of the 50-Foot-Woman.

HorseRacingAnonymous said...

I agree, I doubt Zenyatta will make the trip. Great if she does, but the connections are already eyeing the Lady's Secret on October 10th (she won this last year, where is the creativity?).

Celeste said...

Since I'm a fan of both of these great females, I don't want either one of them to lose, so I'm in the minority of not clamoring for a showdown. It might bring some notice to the game of racing for a short term, but I don't see that it would have a lasting impact on bringing in new people, but that is my opinion.