The connections of impressive Saturday graded stakes winners Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and Olympiad (Speightstown) reported Sunday that both horses came out of their efforts well and are likely headed for a star-studded matchup in the Aug. 6 GI Whitney S. at Saratoga.
Life Is Good, this year's GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. romper, bounced back from a fourth-place finish in the G1 Dubai World Cup with a dominant five-length score in Saturday's GII John Nerud S. at Belmont, earning a 112 Beyer, tied for the second-highest figure of 2022.
“He came back excellent,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “We felt confident that he had maintained his form based on the way he had trained, but it's nice to see him go over and live up to expectations.”
Also pointing to the $1-million Whitney, a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, is Saturday's GII Stephen Foster S. hero Olympiad (Speightstown). The Bill Mott-trained bay has surged to the upper echelon of the handicap division by going unbeaten in five starts this year, including four graded stakes, and earned a career-best 111 Beyer for his 2 1/4-length victory Saturday at Churchill.
“The goal is to get him a Grade I win,” Mott said Sunday. “We've always thought about running him in the Whitney. So I'd say that would be the next likely target.”
Pletcher said Life Is Good is ready for a potential clash with Olympiad, and added that it's possible his Foster runner-up Americanrevolution (Constitution) could contest the Whitney as well.
“Olympiad is on quite a streak himself and you'd always expect the Whitney to be a difficult race, but we're very pleased with the way that [Life Is Good] is doing,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.
Pletcher also reported that Charge It (Tapit) came out of his staggering 23-length rout in Saturday's GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont in good order and will point to the GI Travers S. Aug. 27 at the Spa. Charge It earned a 111 Beyer for Saturday's tour de force, easily the top number earned by a 3-year-old thus far in 2022.
“We thought he would run well, and you never think of one winning by that type of margin, but he's a colt that we've always been very high on and he's always trained like a horse that was capable of great things,” Pletcher said. “He's starting to get a bit more maturity and seasoning now and I still think there's room for improvement. [The Travers] is what we're thinking and that's the goal. We're very pleased with the way he ran and I feel like as he matures, he's trained like a horse that a mile and a quarter is within his range.”