Best Beyer: Life Is Good

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Horse Racing Life Is Good
Life Is Good (Mike Smith): second three-digit Beyer in the San Felipe at Santa Anita. Photo: Benoit

107 Life Is Good

Santa Anita (March 6): San Felipe Stakes G2 $300,000, 1m½f, dirt, 3yo
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith
Owner: WinStar Farm and China Horse Club
Pedigree: 3 bc Into Mischief – Beach Walk (Distorted Humor)
Time: 1m42.18s

At last another three-digit Beyer from this year’s Triple Crown crop. Except it came from the same place as the first, as Life Is Good fully delivered on the promise of his two previous outings with an eight-length annihilation of his rivals in the San Felipe for a 107 Beyer – bettered only by top older horses Knicks Go and Mystic Guide so far in 2021.

In taking his unbeaten record to three, Life Is Good stopped the clock in a speedy 1m42.18s to leave trainer Bob Baffert describing him as “really special”

‘I think he’s really special’ – Bob Baffert marvels as new favourite Life Is Good lights up Kentucky Derby trail

He is now clear favourite for the Kentucky Derby ahead of Breeders’ Cup hero Essential Quality and it is easy to see why. Baffert is seeking his seventh Kentucky winner, and Life Is Good is by Into Mischief, sire of last year’s winner Authentic – who also won the San Felipe for Baffert.

Life Is Good sped to the lead and made all under Mike Smith, never in any semblance of danger, though critics may point to his drifting out in the stretch. Was the colt idling, playing about, distracted by the video board or just getting tired?

‘He’s just very, very talented’ – Life Is Good confirms status as leading Kentucky Derby contender

However, Baffert has excelled stretching out similarly quick horses with apparent stamina worries in the past – think Justify and Authentic himself.

What is more, on paper this was no soft option – second-placed Medina Spirit, also trained by Baffert, is highly regarded and there were other Classic hopefuls drubbed into submission while Smith stayed motionless on the leader.

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Next comes the Santa Anita Derby, where Authentic was beaten at odds on.

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