Life Is Good As Good As Ever in Nerud

Life Is Good | Chelsea Durand

The uber-talented 'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief), last seen tiring to fourth in the G1 Dubai World Cup Mar. 26, returned from the bench in style with a dominating, front-running win sprinting over three rivals in the GII John A. Nerud S. at Belmont Park Saturday.

Away alertly from his rail draw, the 1-5 favorite was shadowed by GI Carter H. winner Speaker's Corner (Street Sense) through an opening quarter in :22.19 and a half-mile in :44.70.

With Flavien Prat sitting chilly, Life Is Good hit the far turn racing in the four path while Jose Ortiz was already getting busy aboard Speaker's Corner. Life Is Good kicked for home in complete command and showed his class down the stretch en route to an eye-catching, five-length victory. Speaker's Corner was second.

The GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner and GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. winner will make his next start in the 1 1/8- miles GI Whitney S. at Saratoga Aug. 6.

“You never take anything for granted,” winning trainer Todd Pletcher said. “There's only one outcome that was OK and that was for him to win. He ran against a Grade I-winner [Speaker's Corner] and drew the rail, so you worry about all those things. He broke sharp, high-cruising speed and just kept going. I loved the way he galloped out. I'm just happy to get that win under our belt and hopefully move forward to the Whitney like we planned.”

Pletcher continued, “He's such a super-talented horse. We've become accustomed to seeing him train special all the time. He made a long trip to Dubai and back and this was his first start off the layoff after doing that, so I'm happy he showed up and ran the way he's capable of.”

With regular pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr. currently suspended, Prat got his first look at Life Is Good Saturday.

“As soon as we hit the quarter-pole, he responded right away,” Prat said. “He galloped out great. I got a great impression of him. He's always been a talented horse and everyone has high hopes on him. He showed it again today.”

Pedigree Notes:
Perennial leading sire Into Mischief sets off fireworks all year long, so it's only fitting he should kick off the Independence Day weekend with one of the most exciting horses in training. Into Mischief is responsible for five U.S. and Canadian champions, 49 graded winners, 110 black-type winners, and more than 200 stakes performers bred in the Northern Hemisphere. Life Is Good is one of 13 stakes winners for the remarkable stallion at the halfway point of 2022. Seven of his career stakes winners–and 13 of his career stakes performers–are out of Distorted Humor mares. Distorted Humor, pensioned at WinStar Farm, is the nation's current leading living broodmare sire with 125 stakes winners out of his daughters. Only a 9-year-old, Beach Walk currently has a juvenile Blame filly named Living Good, as well as a yearling Candy Ride (Arg) colt, in the pipeline. She produced a full-brother to Life Is Good Mar. 31.

Saturday, Belmont Park
JOHN A. NERUD S.-GII, $232,500, Belmont, 7-2, 4yo/up, 7f, 1:21.70, ft.
1–LIFE IS GOOD, 124, c, 4, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Beach Walk, by Distorted Humor
                2nd Dam: Bonnie Blue Flag, by Mineshaft
                3rd Dam: Tap Your Feet, by Dixieland Band
($525,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-CHC Inc. & WinStar Farm LLC;
B-Gary & Mary West Stables Inc. (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher;
J-Flavien Prat. $137,500. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 9-7-1-0,
$3,551,700. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
2–Speaker's Corner, 124, c, 4, Street Sense–Tyburn Brook, by
Bernardini. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-William I. Mott. $50,000.
3–Repo Rocks, 118, g, 4, Tapiture–Hawaiian Love, by Not For
Love. ($35,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $70,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP).
O-Double B Racing Stables; B-Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin (VA);
T-Gregory DiPrima. $30,000.
Margins: 5, 2HF, 12 1/4. Odds: 0.20, 2.25, 25.75.
Also Ran: Harvard. Scratched: War Tocsin.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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