(Trainer Todd Pletcher / Photo by Gene McLean)
From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
A year after adding the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) to his Hall of Fame resume, trainer Todd Pletcher is targeting the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) for his next conquest during the upcoming 2021-2022 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park.
The Pegasus World Cup and the Pegasus World Cup Turf will co-headline a program with seven graded stakes Jan. 29 during Gulfstream’s annual celebration of World Class Thoroughbred racing, entertainment, fashion and dining. The Championship Meet will get underway Friday and run through April 3.
Pletcher, the defending 18-time Championship Meet titlist, is preparing Life Is Good for a start in the Pegasus World Cup, as well as planning for a defense of the Pegasus World Cup Turf by Colonel Liam.
Life Is Good is fresh off a dazzling front-running victory in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Del Mar by 5 ¾ lengths
“He’s an extremely impressive horse to watch train. What everybody saw in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in his training,” Pletcher said.
CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC’s 3-year-old son of Into Mischief is on course for a clash with Pegasus World Cup defending champion Knicks Go, who captured the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in front-running style by 2 ¾ lengths over Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Medina Spirit.
Life Is Good has set the pace in all six of his career starts, including his first three races that included dominating victories over Medina Spirit in the Sham (G3) and San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita for former trainer Bob Baffert. The Kentucky-bred colt, who was sidelined with an unspecified injury, came up a neck short of holding off Jackie’s Warrior in his first start for Pletcher in the seven-furlong H Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga off a 5 ½-month layoff. He came back to score a 5 ½-length victory in the one-turn mile Kelso before carrying his speed around two turns in the Dirt Mile.
“He’s got a lot of brilliance. He’s got speed and the ability to carry it over a route of ground. He’s just a very, very talented, impressive horse,” said Pletcher, whose best finisher in the Pegasus World Cup thus far was 2017 third-place finisher Neolithic. “We’re optimistic that he’ll continue to stretch out. He certainly trains like a horse that wants to go further. We’re excited about getting him back for next year.”
Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam surged from off the pace to defeat Pletcher-trained Largent by a neck in last year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf, which the son of Liam’s Map used as a springboard for victories in the Muniz Memorial (G2) and Churchill Downs’ Turf Classic (G1). He has been idle since finishing off the board in the Manhattan at Belmont in June.
“He’s at Palm Beach Downs now and training really well. We’re looking forward to having him defend his Pegasus World Cup Turf title,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully, everything goes smoothly. He’s doing well at the moment.”
Shifty She Preparing for Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said Sunday that Noble Damsel (G3) winner Shifty She will prep for the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3) in the Dec. 18 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream.
“She is going to run here on the 18th in the Grade 3,” said Joseph of the 5-year-old mare, owned and co-bred by Chris Pallas and co-owned by Harvey Rothenberg. “We’re going to use that hopefully as a prep for the Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf.”
“She came out of her last race really well. We gave her a little freshening. We thought about going straight to the Pegasus race, but there’s too much time between races. We figured we’d get a race here and then go into it.”
“She’s a gutsy horse with a will to win. Even if she doesn’t win, she tries hard and always shows up.”
Earlier this year Shifty She won the Ginger Punch and Powder Break at Gulfstream. The daughter of Gone Astray has won six of 10 lifetime starts.