CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm’s Kentucky-bred Life Is Good scored an impressive front-running victory in the $1 million Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, Aug. 6, earning the son of Into Mischief a berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on Nov. 6 at Keeneland.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for trainer Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good took command of the historic 1 1/8-mile fixture after the break. Racing on an uncontested lead, Life Is Good stretched his advantage to 3 ½ lengths down the backstretch. Allowed to dictate terms, Life Is Good maintained his advantage around the far turn where he was briefly challenged by Hot Rod Charlie who ranged up three-wide. After shrugging off that bid, Life Is Good fended off a late charge from a determined Happy Saver in the lane and ultimately defeated his stablemate by two lengths in 1:48.97.
“He’s a nice horse,” said Ortiz. “He deserves all the credit. He does things easy. He might make things look easy, but he was running since the three-quarter pole all the way to the wire. He was the speed of the race, honestly, he’s fast out of the gate. He broke good and then I just let him do this thing.”
WinStar’s Elliott Walden said of the victory, “It felt like he was the best horse all along and he showed it today. It’s real exciting. To have Justify and this horse three years later is just incredible.”
The win provided Pletcher with his fourth victory in the prestigious Whitney. “There are so many factors to worry about with heat, humidity, the track’s been playing pretty demanding, but during the race, it looked like he was always in control,” said Pletcher. “I thought he was in good position. It looked like he kept finding more and I was happy to see him get there.”
The win marked the third in a Grade 1 race for Life Is Good who defeated Knicks Go in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) in January at Gulfstream Park after annexing last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Del Mar. A $525,000 purchase at the 2019 Keeneland September Sale, Life Is Good now boasts earnings in excess of $4 million. Bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West Stable, Inc., Life is Good is produced from the Distorted Humor mare Beach Walk.