'Rising Star' Makes 'Good' in Sham

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Life Is Good | Horsephotos

China Horse Club and WinStar's Life Is Good (Into Mischief) lived up to his dazzling, 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut with a good-looking score in Saturday's GIII Sham S. at Santa Anita. Romping by 9 1/2 lengths in his 6 1/2-panel unveiling at Del Mar Nov. 22, he fired a pair of bullet works in the interim and was hammered down to 1-5 favoritism to repeat in this first try at two turns.

Not off to the fastest start from the outside post in this five-horse affair, the $525,000 KEESEP purchase seized the early advantage and galloped along on a clear lead, clocking a 23.56 first quarter and :46.67 half-mile. Turning for home alone, Life is Good was still going along at an easy gallop into the final sixteenth of a mile, but Mike Smith was forced to get busy thereafter as stablemate Medina Spirit (Protonico) closed the gap to 3/4 of a length at the wire.

“He's a good horse and I could tell that Mike was just cruising out there,” Hall of Famer Bob Baffert said. “It reminded me a lot of Authentic (Into Mischief) last year, when he did the same thing, he looked like a drunk out there coming down, he almost hit the rail and stuff. Just to get the two turns out of the way, it's big. I always feel that the second race is most important, you're going up against winners. I think Mike did a great job just sort of cruising around there and it was just the kind of race we were looking for. They ran pretty fast, these are two good horses. It is so exciting he passed the two-turn test.”

Pedigree Notes:

Life Is Good is the 84th black-type winner and 36th graded winner for red hot sire Into Mischief. He is also the 104th black-type scorer and 48th graded victor out of a daughter of longtime leading stallion Distorted Humor. The winner's second dam is SW & MGISW Bonnie Blue Flag (Mineshaft), who is a half-sister to MGISW Diamondrella (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}). His dam Beach Walk did not have a foal in 2019, but had a Blame filly Feb. 27 of last year and was bred back to Candy Ride (Arg).

Saturday, Santa Anita
SHAM S.-GIII, $100,000, Santa Anita, 1-2, 3yo, 1m, 1:36.63, ft.
1–LIFE IS GOOD, 120, c, 3, 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
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($525,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). 'TDN Rising Star' O-CHC INC & WinStar Farm LLC; B-Gary & Mary West Stables Inc (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Mike E Smith. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $94,200. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
2–Medina Spirit, 120, c, 3, Protonico–Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed. ($1,000 Ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN). O-Zedan Racing Stables Inc; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob Baffert. $20,000.
3–Parnelli, 120, c, 3, Quality Road–Sip Sip, by Bernardini. ($500,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd (KY); T-John A Shirreffs. $12,000.
Margins: 3/4, 13, 6. Odds: 0.20, 9.40, 4.60.
Also Ran: Waspirant, Uncle Boogie. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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