WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Life Is Good turned in another sharp work Saturday morning as he nears his next scheduled start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
The 4-year-old Into Mischief gelding breezed five furlongs in 1:00.36 at Palm Beach Downs for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, third-fastest of 14 horses. Pletcher continues to be impressed with the way he Life Is Good is heading into the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus.
“Just another super work this morning. Looked awesome, finished up really strong, galloped out great. Looks good here this afternoon. We’re very, very happy with him,” Pletcher said. “I had him in a minute and two-fifths, had him shading 23 [seconds] the last quarter. He galloped out seven-eighths in 1:26 and two and just looked great doing it.”
Saturday was Life Is Good’s sixth work since his front-running 5 ¾-length triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 6, the last five coming in South Florida, where he has never raced and had never trained until mid-December.
Life Is Good Wins Dirt Mile
Based in California at 2 and for the start of his 3-year-old year, winning the Sham (G3) and San Felipe (G2), Life Is Good joined Pletcher last summer and suffered his first career loss by a neck in the H. Allen Jerkens (G1). He beat older horses in each of his last two starts, prepping for the Breeders’ Cup in the one-mile Kelso (G2).
The Sham, at 1 1/16 miles, is the longest race to date for Life Is Good.
“I love the way he’s settled in here. He’s been really training well, but also a little more relaxed,” Pletcher said. “I think he likes the environment at Palm Beach Downs. We kind of take him out when he’s the only horse on the racetrack, so he’s enjoying that.
“His works, he couldn’t work any better but he’s always been such an exceptional work horse that I guess anything other than exceptional would be concerning,” he added. “He seems to be every bit as good or better than he was going into the Breeders’ Cup.”
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Colonel Liam Defends Title in Pegasus World Cup Turf
Pletcher said Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam emerged well from his five-furlong breeze in 1:00.23 Friday at Palm Beach Downs, the fastest of 11 horses, as he prepares to defend his title in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).
“Very pleased. It looks like he’s coming up to it in good order,” he said. “One more breeze to go, but all systems go.”
Other Pletcher horses on the initial Pegasus Turf invite list were Repole Stable’s Never Surprised and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Largent. Never Surprised, winner of Gulfstream’s Dec. 26 Tropical Park Derby, remains on track following a Friday breeze in 51.40 seconds at Palm Beach Downs.
Largent ran fourth in the Tropical Turf (G3) Jan. 8 at Gulfstream, his first start since finishing second by a neck to Colonel Liam in last winter’s Pegasus Turf.
“I have to talk to the connections. I don’t know that we’re going to be able to bounce back in three weeks,” Pletcher said. “I want to see how he does this week, but right now we’re just kind of playing it day by day.”
The Pegasus World Cup program will feature seven graded-stakes worth $5.2 million in purses, including the inaugural $500,000 Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G3) where Pletcher is planning to run the Lows’ multiple graded-stakes winner Sweet Melania. Sweet Melania worked a half-mile in 50.43 seconds Friday at Palm Beach Downs.
Also on the work tab for Pletcher Saturday was Donegal Racing’s Mo Donegal. The 3-year-old son of champion Uncle Mo, winner of the Dec. 4 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, went five furlongs in 1:01.26, fourth-fastest of 14 horses, and is being pointed to the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) Feb. 5 as his season debut.
“Mo Donegal worked this morning, five-eighths, and went really well,” Pletcher said. “We’re on target for the Holy Bull.”