Life Is Good

Glut of Early Speed in The Classic? Not So Fast

The Week in Review We're inside the five-week mark to the Breeders' Cup, and the top five contenders for the GI Classic all won their final graded stakes prep starts over the last two weekends. This past Saturday, three of those horses wired 1 1/8-miles graded stakes and earned roughly equal Beyer Speed Figures of 107, 107 and 104. At first blush, those performances look similar on paper, and it's tempting to make the leap to say the Classic will be glutted with early gunners who could hook each other...

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Life Is Good Cruises To Victory in Kelso

'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good got an easy prep for his expected appearance in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in Saturday's GII Kelso H. at Belmont Park, scoring virtually untouched and eased down late. Off at 1-20 with $212,404 of the $251,965 win pool and $353,424 of the $389,409 place pool on his nose, the $525,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase easily out-footed distant second choice Chance It (Currency Swap) and led through an opening quarter in a manageable :23.53. Chance It was pulled up and out of the...

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This Side Up: Quit Chasing the Dollar and Try Cruz Control

Assuming that you, too, have by this stage marvelled at the tenacity, balance and athleticism of Alex Cruz in winning a race despite losing both irons leaving the gate, at Emerald Downs last weekend, then perhaps you might also have been prompted to reassess our prejudices against the seat of the 18th Century guardsman. To the modern eye, the long-shanked equitation of those days appears ludicrous: awkward, stilted and, above all, inimical to the freedom of the horse's movement. We think of the elevation of the modern jockey, as popularized...

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Life is Good Faces Elders in Kelso

'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good (Into Mischief) takes on his elders for the first time Saturday and will be heavily favored to defeat them in a four-horse renewal of Belmont's GII Kelso H. Informative (Bodemeister) is scratching in favor of Saturday's Parx Dirt Mile. Devastating the field to graduate by 9 1/2 lengths and earn a 91 Beyer Speed Figure on debut at Del Mar Nov. 22, the $525,000 KEESEP buy captured the one-mile GIII Sham S. next out at Santa Anita Jan. 2. Romping by eight lengths when...

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As Advertised: Jackie's Warrior Narrowly Outslugs Life Is Good in Allen Jerkens

This year's GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. was billed as a match race between current divisional leader Jackie's Warrior and come-backing 'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good (Into Mischief). The race lived up to that and then some with Jackie's Warrior stubbornly holding off a determined and previously undefeated Life is Good for a narrow victory. The six-horse field moved as one through the opening strides, but 4-5 favorite Life is Good and 3-2 second-choice Jackie's Warrior quickly separated themselves with the former leading the latter by a length...

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Jackie's Warrior Favored in Jerkens Memorial

J Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) puts his perfect three-for-three Saratoga record on the line when he faces five rivals in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. at Saratoga Saturday. The bay colt won last year's GII Saratoga Special S. and GI Hopeful S. and returned to the upstate oval to annex the Aug. 1 GII Amsterdam S. last time out. "He's done really well," trainer Steve Asmussen said of Jackie's Warrior. "All three of his races at Saratoga were obviously very good. We're anxious to...

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This Side Up: Seeking the Essence of Travers Quality

In an age that takes such relish in discovering offense where none is intended, I suppose we will eventually have to stop referring to a "Graveyard of Champions". Never mind that most horsemen would perceive a fairly benign destiny in themselves being laid to rest in Saratoga, with the implicit likelihood of an exit--a Parting Glass, indeed--achieved by some excess of bliss or excitement. For the squeamish tastes of today, the metaphor is doubtless becoming a little too sanguinary. Be that as it may, there's no denying that Saratoga's long...

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Essential Quality Leads Runhappy Travers Breezers

It was a busy morning at Saratoga for 3-year-olds headed towards next Saturday's $1.25-million GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga, headed by GI Belmont S. hero and reigning champion juvenile Essential Quality (Tapit). The 'TDN Rising Star,' ridden by leading jockey Luis Saez, worked outside of stablemate Bonny South (Munnings) and the duo covered five furlongs in 1:01.58 (10/18). The Godolphin homebred was caught in fractions of :11.40, :23.22 and :47.81 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15 flat. Juddmonte's enigmatic Bonny South is also scheduled to race...

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Malathaat to Target Alabama

Shadwell Stable's Malathaat (Curlin), who suffered her first career defeat when second behind Maracuja (Honor Code) as the heavy favorite in the four-horse GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday, will be aimed at a likely rematch with that filly in the Aug. 21 GI Alabama S. "We had a difficult time analyzing the race beforehand and how we thought it might unfold," admitted trainer Todd Pletcher. "There wasn't a lot of speed on paper and we were in the one post with a target on our backs, so our strategy...

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Life Is Good to Pletcher, Returns to Worktab

by Bill Finley and Steve Sherack Undefeated and considered one of the most promising horses in the sport, Life Is Good (Into Mischief) will soon join the Todd Pletcher stable. He had been trained by Bob Baffert, who has lost a number of top horses due to his ongoing problems involving the Medina Spirit (Protonico) positive in the GI Kentucky Derby for betamethasone. After winning the GII San Felipe S., Mar. 6 at Santa Anita, Life Is Good was sidelined and ruled out of the Triple Crown races after coming...

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This Side Up: A Tour With Many Dates

Well, I guess in the week we lost Mrs. Chandler--that elegant bridge at the center of five generations (and counting) of Kentucky horse lore--nobody will need reminding to take the long view. Certainly not Shug McGaughey, who will perhaps be reminding the disappointed connections of Greatest Honour (Tapit) how things didn't turn out too badly for Coronado's Quest (Forty Niner) after he was likewise derailed from the Classic trail. Maybe Greatest Honour can now become Shug's fifth winner of the GI Travers S., a race with an even longer history...

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Mishriff, Mystic Guide Top Longines World Rankings

After impressive displays during the Dubai World Cup card, Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) and TDN Rising Star Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) share the top spot with a 122 ranking in the second edition of the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings for 2021. The rankings are compiled by the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings Committee and published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). Mishriff, who led the rankings following his victory in the Saudi Cup, switched back to turf and won the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic next time out....

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