(Life Is Good / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
(Knicks Go at the Fair Grounds on Sunday / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
WinStar Farm and CHC Inc’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Life Is Good put in his final work Saturday morning for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Life Is Good, millionaire son of Into Mischief, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.90 over a fast main track at Palm Beach Downs for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, ranking third of 15 horses.
It was the seventh work for Life Is Good since his front-running 5 ¾-length triumph in the Dirt Mile Nov. 6, the last six following his mid-December arrival in South Florida. The Pegasus will be his first race at 1 1/8 miles.
“It was another super breeze. He looked awesome, moving really well, in hand throughout,” Pletcher said. “It’s kind of what we’ve been seeing every week. Just beautiful action, and does things effortlessly. We couldn’t be more pleased with how he went.”
Life Is Good has never raced at Gulfstream with five wins from six career starts, his lone loss coming by a neck in the seven-furlong H. Allen Jerkens (G1) last August 28 in his first race since joining Pletcher. He also owns graded wins in the Sham (G3), San Felipe (G2) and Kelso (G2).
“We know he’s super talented and he’s training great,” Pletcher said. “We’re excited about the race, we’re excited about the way he’s coming into it, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Repole Stable’s Fearless, also among the 17 Pegasus invitees, worked a half-mile Saturday in 48.80 seconds for Pletcher. Fearless exits a four-length triumph in Gulfstream’s Dec. 18 Harlan’s Holiday (G3), and the trainer said a decision is forthcoming on whether he will run in the Pegasus or $150,000 Charlatan presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G3), formerly the Fred Hooper, going one mile.
Also working for Pletcher Saturday was Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam, who went five furlongs in 1:01.34 as he prepares to defend his 2021 victory in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1). Colonel Liam went to win the Muniz Memorial (G2) and Turf Classic (G1) but has gone unraced since finishing off the board in the Manhattan (G1) last June.
Pletcher’s other Pegasus Turf contender, Repole Stable’s Never Surprised, worked a half-mile Saturday in 49.66 seconds. Never Surprised enters the race off back-to-back wins including the Dec. 27 Tropical Turf at Gulfstream, the same race Colonel Liam used as a springboard to his Pegasus win.
“Kind of different strategies with those two. Never Surprised, we’re just trying to keep him happy. He’s coming off some good races and he’s kind of had a consistent schedule here recently, so we’re just trying to keep him sharp,” Pletcher said.
“With Colonel Liam we wanted to do a little more,” he added. “He hasn’t run in quite a while so we wanted to get another good work into him which we did, and it seems like he’s fit and ready to go. We’ll hope he can run as well as he did last year.”
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 48.98 seconds Saturday.
At Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Pedigree Partners’ Grade 3 winner Shifty She breezed a half-mile in 49.50 seconds for Championship Meet-leading trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.
(Knicks Go at the Fair Grounds on Sunday / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
Knicks Go To Ship On Monday:
Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go is scheduled to ship to Gulfstream Park Monday in advance of his title defense in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s going to breeze on Sunday here at the Fair Grounds. Provided everything goes well out of that work Monday morning, we’ll put him on a van late morning, mid-morning,” trainer Brad Cox said. “We’ll ship him down. There isn’t a plane. I don’t think that will be an issue. He’s a good shipper.”
Knicks Go, who is coming off a 2 ¾-length Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar, registered a 2 ¾-length victory in last year’s Pegasus.
Cox said Knicks Go would probably jog at Gulfstream Tuesday morning and again on Friday.
“He’ll have some routine gallops and jog days here and there,” Cox said. “He’ll walk on race day.”
Joel Rosario will once again be aboard for the Pegasus, in which Knicks Go is scheduled for a highly anticipated clash with Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Life is Good.