- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Certify dominates Fillies' Mile
Godolphin's unbeaten Certify stormed clear in Friday's Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket, the first race on the new "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" scoring system.
Trained by Mahmood al Zarooni and confidently ridden by Mickael Barzalona, the daughter of Elusive Quality was nestled near the rear, angled to the inside for room, and unleashed a powerful late kick.
Certify drew off by 4 1/2 lengths, extending her record to a perfect four-for-four. In the process, she earned 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Runner-up Roz collected four points, while third Amazonas and fourth Masarah scored two points and one point, respectively.
It is highly unlikely, however, that Godolphin would point Certify for the Kentucky Oaks.
Instead, al Zarooni indicated that her first major objective next season is the Group 1 One Thousand Guineas on May 5, over the same course and distance as the Fillies' Mile. Her impressive performance propelled her into early favoritism for that English classic for fillies.
Certify broke her maiden by three lengths in a six-furlong event at Newmarket on July 12. Stepping up to seven furlongs for the Group 3 Sweet Solera at the same venue August 11, she quickened well to beat subsequent Group 1 winner Sky Lantern by a length.
Certify's only close call came next time out in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes going a mile at Doncaster September 14, where she did well to close off a muddling pace and outdueled Purr Along by a head.
Bred by Hurstland Farm et al in Kentucky, Certify was a bargain $80,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She is out of multiple Grade 3-placed stakes winner Please Sign In, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 victress Cry and Catch Me.