How to bet with, and against, Obligatory in the Chilukki Stakes

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November 18th, 2021

Eight fillies and mares will travel one mile in the $300,000 Chilukki S. (G2) at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The Bill Mott-conditioned #7 Obligatory (5-2) is the morning-line choice in the well-matched field, and deservedly so. An impressive winner of the Eight Belles S. (G2) on the surface in April, the Juddmonte homebred has run with the best in her division all season, recording second-place finishes in the Cotillion S. (G1) and Acorn S. (G1) along the way.

The gray daughter of Curlin continues to train forwardly and she gets a bit more ground to work with in her return to Louisville. Unplaced from an impossible post and trip in the Raven Run S. (G2) at Keeneland most recently, the three-year-old will receive a more logical voyage on Saturday with Joel Rosario picking up the mount. If Obligatory runs her best, then she will be very tough to hold off in the stretch in this affair.

But, there are two main reasons to try and upend the talented lass, as well. First, Obligatory will be facing her elders for the initial time, and that is rarely an easy task for a sophomore. In addition to that, the late-running style of the three-year-old could leave her vulnerable late if the pace is moderate early on. While I expect solid and contested early splits, it’s possible that the fractions will be softer than I envision.

Paul McGee’s #5 Pass the Plate (20-1) is the longest price on the morning-line, but I feel that she is surely worth a play at a big number. The Temple City four-year-old has raced primarily on the lawn in her lifetime, but her previous two dirt performances were very good, led by a Grade 2 placing at Churchill Downs.

Pass the Plate is another late runner in the cast that will need help up front to aid her running style, but if the leaders are backing up in the stretch, then the four-year-old could be rolling home as a win contender. Joe Talamo will guide the stakes heroine.

Two-time stakes vixen #3 Matera (3-1) has been slow to develop but is starting to run to her hefty $1.4 million price tag for Brad Cox. The gray four-year-old by Tapit is three-for-four in 2021, with a solid fourth-place result in the deep Locust Grove S. (G3) being her lone setback this campaign. Florent Geroux will pilot the improving filly.

Obligatory - With

  • $20 win and place #7 Obligatory ($40)
  • $5 trifecta key 7 with 3, 5 ($10)

Obligatory - Against

  • $2 trifecta 3, 5 with 3, 5, 7 with all ($48)