The last time owners
Vern and Donna Dubinsky and trainer Josie Caroll brought a filly to the TVG
Alabama, she was the “other” Canadian in the race.
That year, their Careless Jewel – based at Woodbine and a runaway
winner of the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks in her first start on dirt and in a stakes
race – was somewhat overshadowed by the Ontario-bred Milwaukee Appeal,
who had run only in Canada and won the Woodbine Oaks before running third
against boys in the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian
While Milwaukee Appeal enjoyed favoritism on TVG Alabama Day, the race
belonged to Careless Jewel, the speedy gray who posted an 11-length victory
despite being steadied sharply on the first turn.
This year, the Dubinskys have the Ontario-bred Inglorious, a bay filly with
a resume that designates her a serious contender in Saturday’s Grade 1
TVG Alabama. Circumstances may be different, but the Dubinskys are hoping for
the same result.
An $83,556 yearling purchase at the 2009 Canadian Yearling Sale, the
daughter of Hennessy has competed exclusively in stakes, breaking her maiden against
fellow Ontario-breds in the Fanfreluche over Woodbine’s Polytrack on
October 24, 2010.
“She was a nice-looking horse,” recalled Vern Dubinsky of
the purchase. “And she’s by Hennessy, who is the broodmare sire of
Careless Jewel, which had a little bit to do with it. When she was being
broken, they felt she was one of the better horses in the barn, so we thought
she might be OK. When Josie got her, she was training forwardly and she wanted
to put her in a stake. I was a little surprised – you never know what
you’ve got and we thought she was a little better than average, anyway
– but she showed she could run and we’ve just gone on from
Inglorious, who is out of the Smart Strike mare Noble Strike, again
trounced Ontario-breds in the Ontario Lassie before venturing to the United States
to try dirt in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course
on February 19. She was beaten 1 ¼ lengths in that race by Kathmanblu, who was
making the eighth start of her career. Fourth in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks
the following month, Inglorious’ connections began to revise her
didn’t come out of her last race at Fair Grounds as good as we
hoped,” Dubinsky explained. “We thought we’d just give her
some time and let her grow up a little. In hindsight, I think it was the right
thing to do. I know she’s a better horse than she was this winter.”
Kentucky Oaks, Inglorious returned to Woodbine and racked up three straight victories:
the 1 1/8-mile La Lorgnette on May 15, the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks on June 5,
and the 1 ¼-mile Queen’s Plate on June 26.
always had the Woodbine Oaks and and the Queen’s Plate in back of our
mind,” Dubinsky said. “We wanted to make sure she was 100 percent
coming out of [the Woodbine Oaks], but fillies have kind of done fairly well [in
the Queen’s Plate], and we thought it was worth a rattle, so we took a
Inglorious closed four wide on the turn to win the Queen’s Plate by 2 ½
lengths under Luis Contreras, a 25-year-old rider who would go on to win the next
two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown aboard Pender Harbour.
Queen’s Plate was unbelievable,” said Dubinsky. “It’s
kind of comparable for an American – for anyone – to win the Kentucky
Derby and for us, at home, it was a huge accomplishment.”
Following the Queen’s
Plate, Inglorious’ connections began pondering a return to Saratoga for the Alabama,
a race Dubinsky holds in the highest regard.
the best race in North America for 3-year-old
fillies,” Dubinsky said. “It’s the classic distance,
it’s in Saratoga,
and the fillies are mature 3-year-olds already. It’s like the difference
between the Kentucky Derby and the Travers – the earlier races are great
races, but some horses develop a little later and all of them are more
thrilled to win it the first time, and we’re thrilled now just to be in
it. We were just hoping to have a horse good enough to get there again, and we wanted
to make sure we had a fresh horse, and a good horse, to get there again. I don’t
think she could be coming into race any better than she is now. We’re
Inglorious is the
only filly in the field who is proven at the Alabama distance, but Dubinsky has
tremendous respect for her five rivals.
be a small field, but I think the quality is as good as ever,” said
Dubinsky. “She’s shown she can get a mile and a quarter.
We’re hoping she is [going to handle the return to dirt]. You never know.
I also think we have a really good rider, our young rider. He knows her so well
and rides her with so much confidence; I think she’s got a good
inevitably invites comparison to Careless Jewel, Dubinsky is quick to point out
is a true professional,” said Dubinsky. “With Careless, you never
knew. She’d get a little goofy on us, but this filly just walks over like
a pony and does her thing. She’s just unbelievable that way, she has such
a good temperament. She’s a different kind of horse, that’s for
Perhaps the kind
of horse that could bring the Dubinskys, and Carroll, to the winner’s
circle at Saratoga