2009 will go down in history as the year of the fillies.
In an industry dominated by males, both human and equine, fillies and mares left their mark. It marked the first of two victories for Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. It was the year that Zenyatta became the first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Most notably, it was the year that Rachel Alexandra dominated males on three occasions in Grade I company, even besting older males in the Woodward Stakes (GI).
Those three fillies stole the show in 2009. However, they were far from the only brilliant fillies roaming the nation. In the shadows was another filly, unbeaten and untested over conventional dirt. In any other year she likely would’ve been the undisputed champion of her division, but Careless Jewel had the misfortune of being born in the same crop as a super filly.
Careless Jewel only raced one season, unable to return as a four-year old due to constant set-backs, but she sure made that single season count. In 2009, she was the chief earner for her sire, the famed Tapit, as well as his Grade I winner at 10 furlongs in United States.
Careless Jewel made her stakes debut in the Delaware Oaks (GII) beating Malibu Prayer, who was coming off a second-place finish to Rachel Alexandra in the Mother Goose (GI), by over seven lengths. The final time was a snappy 1:42.96.
She followed that effort up with a romping win in the Alabama Stakes (GI) at historic old Saratoga. That day she drew off to a jaw-dropping 11-length victory. She was so dominant that some even wondered if she would have given Rachel Alexandra a run for her money had Rachel’s connections chosen to run in the Alabama instead of in the Woodward two weeks later.
She continued her decimation of the three-year-old filly ranks in the then-Grade II Cotillion Stakes. The Cotillion brought the tally to three graded stakes victories in a row for Careless Jewel, with a winning streak that totaled five races.
From there she marched onwards to the Breeders’ Cup, where she would race in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (GI). Unfortunately, her form over dirt did not carry over to the Pro-Ride surface that the Breeders’ Cup was contested over in 2009. After setting a torrid early pace, Careless Jewel faded to the back, eventually crossing the wire in last place.
Careless Jewel was a force of nature over conventional dirt, going three-for-three over the surface with an average winning margin of over seven lengths. Who knows what would have been if the Ladies Classic had been contested over dirt. Unfortunately, due to unfavorable circumstances, Careless Jewel has been cast away and forgotten.
Due to a cruel twist of fate, Careless Jewel never go the recognition she deserved.
Careless Jewel was a fast, brilliant force of nature. She was the first to bring Tapit classic distance success at the Grade I level in America, while also being his chief earner in 2009. This is how Careless Jewel should be remembered, not as the forgotten filly of 2009.