December 1, 2022

Obligatory opens season in Hurricane Bertie

Obligatory wins the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

A convincing winner of the Chilukki S. (G3) in her final appearance last fall, multiple graded stakes winner Obligatory will look to make a major impact in the female sprint ranks this year. The gray filly will open her four-year-old campaign in Saturday’s $100,000 Hurricane Bertie S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park, and Obligatory will be the one to beat among six runners in the 6 1/2-furlong event.

Her first stakes win came in the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs last spring, and Obligatory has the Derby City Distaff (G1) on May 6 as a target. Bill Mott trains the Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Curlin, and Tyler Gaffalione will be up.

Multiple Grade 3 winner Four Graces, a fast-closing second in the Jan. 29 Inside Information S. (G2) at Gulfstream, is a contender for Ian Wilkes. Formerly more of a frontrunning type, the five-year-old mare has become more push-button in her last couple of starts, and Julien Leparoux retains the mount.

My Destiny and Feeling Mischief, second and third in the Feb. 12 Minaret S. at Tampa Bay Downs, are also entered. Romero Maragh will guide My Destiny for Herman Wilensky, and Corey Lanerie rides Feeling Mischief for Michael Campbell.

Completing the field are Gulfstream specialist Bramble Berry, who notched her sixth win locally when taking a Feb. 17 allowance by open lengths, and Inside Information fourth Starship Nala.