The weekend’s card at Gulfstream Park offered especially the G3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes with six contestants, including grey Obligatory who had to defy the biggest carried weight and quite a short distance as she usually thrived at slightly longer trips. However, she was so willing on Saturday that none of the mentioned facts bothered her as she cruised to the win, leaving behind also preferred Four Graces.
Hurricane Bertie Stakes
The G3 dirt race for four-year-old fillies and older mares saw a victory of Obligatory (6-5) trained by William Mott; however, it was mainly her jockey Tyler Gaffalione who decided the race for himself and his mount. The grey had some pleasing results under her belt but was supposed to struggle at the distance of six and a half of a furlong, being too short for her; still, she was respected here despite expected dropping to the last place soon after the start.
Obligatory collected her most treasured wins at the mile and seven furlong-trip but this time, she had no issues with bagging most of the purse of $100,000 of this sprint race as Tyler Gaffalione urged her to use the gap that opened in front of them in the only turn, upon which Obligatory swiftly improved her position. Once the field of six participants hit the final stretch, the grey filly took command and cruised towards her second G3 win in 1m 17.92s.
Her jockey just superbly seized the opportunity when the gap opened, so unlike favourite Four Graces (2-1), Obligatory saved the ground and energy for bolting up, crossing the line with the advantage of three lengths, even though she carried the biggest weight of all contestants. Bramble Berry (32-5) took second place after putting up a front-running performance, while preferred Four Graces didn’t have a good trip on Saturday and had to settle for third place.
The jockey was obviously full of praise following the race, stressing that he was sure Obligatory would finish from the rear of the field while hoping for a quick start for the rivals. The fast pace proved crucial for the success of his mount, while he also liked the way Obligatory handled the turn as she usually struggles there.
The rest of the field was no match for the mentioned trio as they were just weakening in the final stretch where Feeling Mischief (34-1) was fourth, and Starship Nala (135-10) crossed the wire in fifth.
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