Her sights set upon a big season in the female season ranks, Obligatory opened her four-year-old campaign with a convincing victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) at Gulfstream Park. The Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Curlin closed fast to win going away by three lengths.
Last seen recording a 2 1/4-length victory in the Chilukki S. (G3) in mid-November, Obligatory also captured the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs last year.
The Bill Mott-trained gray filly left the starting gate as the 6-5 second choice with Joel Rosario, and she traveled 6 1/2 furlongs over the good track in 1:17.92.
Obligatory left herself plenty to do from off the pace, rating in last along the backstretch. Bramble Berry sped forward to establish splits in :22.46, :46.26, and 1:11.54 on a clear lead, but Obligatory had rallied into contention by the top of the stretch and blew past the pacesetter in the final sixteenth of a mile.
Bramble Berry comfortably held second at 6-1, 2 1/4 lengths better than even-money favorite Four Graces. Feeling Mischief, Starship Nala, and My Destiny completed the order.
Bred in Kentucky, Obligatory has now earned $772,894 from a 10-4-2-0 record, including placings in the Acorn (G1) and Cotillion (G1). The Derby City Distaff (G1), contested over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 6, is a likely target.