Obligatory © Mathea Kelley/Racingfotos.com

Eight Belles success for Obligatory

Obligatory, a daughter of Curlin and restricted stakes winner Uno Duo, stepped up to Graded company winning the Gr.2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs yesterday (30th April).

Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 1st May 2021:

Longshot Obligatory cut back and came flying to run down returning Gr.1 winner Dayoutoftheoffice yesterday (30th April). Fourth on debut after a rough start sprinting at Belmont in October, the Juddmonte homebred donned cap and gown over a one-turn mile at Gulfstream on 7th February. She was last seen finishing fourth in the Gr.2 Fair Grounds Oaks behind Travel Column, Clairiere and Souper Sensational.

Obligatory dropped straight to the back early as last year's Gr.1 Frizette Stakes heroine and Gr.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Dayoutoftheoffice chased a quick pace from third that yielded opening splits of :21.89 and :44.46. The favourite took over heading for home and looked on her way to victory, and Obligatory swung very wide but still had plenty to do. Like a grey blur, Obligatory inhaled foes down the centre of the track and blew by Dayoutoftheoffice in the final strides.

"It was just like I planned it," said winning jockey Jose Ortiz. "I told [Juddmonte General Manager] Garrett [O'Rourke] and [trainer] Bill [Mott] that there was going to be a lot of speed on the rail on paper. I was going to sit on her and give her one good move. The first part was nice and easy. The second part she came running. According to the numbers, and I don't know numbers, they said she could win the race and they were right. She's a filly that is improving a lot."

Trainer Bill Mott commented: " The pace today turned out good. We both knew there was a tremendous amount of speed in the race. She was able to close into it. She had a good kick. You just hope it didn't take too much out of her, she got the win and I think she earned a ticket into a good race like the [Gr.1] Acorn."