Life Is Good Profile

Name Life Is Good
Born Apr 22, 2018
Age 3 years

After an impressive start to his racing career, Bob Baffert's colt was eyeing a crack at the 2021 Kentucky Derby until injury thwarted his hopes.

Winstar Farm and CHC Inc's Life Is Good was one of the key names on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby before being ruled out of the big race at Churchill Downs. The three-year-old Into Mischief colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby

Life Is Good's first 10 qualifying points came from his victory in the January 2 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. In that outing, the runner recorded a 110 Speed Figure. He completed the one-mile dirt test in a time of 1:36.63 to score his first stakes victory.

Guided by jockey Mike Smith, Life Is Good came into the Sham Stakes as the heavy favourite at odds of 1/5. He broke from the outside-post position among a field of five sophomores. The colt ran easily throughout the race, but he did face a challenge from stablemate Medina Spirit late in the outing. Medina Spirit, another name on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby, was not able to keep pushing though as Life Is Good crossed first to win by three-quarters of a length.

The two horses met in the San Felipe Stakes on March 6, with Life Is Good again prevailing over Medina Spirit. The Into Mischief colt picked up 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, effectively qualifying for the race, with an eight-length victory over his stablemate.

Unfortunately, Life Is Good was then ruled out of the Kentucky Derby reckoning due to an unspecified injury picked up during a six-furlong workout in mid-March.

Question marks over Life Is Good's inexperience

Life Is Good only had one other race prior to the Sham Stakes, making him one of the more inexperienced runners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The colt debuted in a six-and-a-half furlong event on November 22 at Del Mar. The field of two-year-old maidens reached six deep, and it included names like Wipe the Slate, Santos to Wilson, Roman Centurian and Scales of Justice.

Coming in as the heavy favourite, Life Is Good broke strong and steady. He quickly found the lead and registered impressive fractions off the rail, which eventually became a padded advantage. He easily crossed the line first, followed by Wipe the Slate and Santos to Wilson.

Following the runner's debut victory, jockey Mike Smith said: "He's very, very talented. We don't know yet how talented. We haven't gotten close yet."

Life Is Good's pedigree

The three-year-old colt has an impressive pedigree. He was bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West Stable, Inc. He was then purchased by his connections for $525,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Life Is Good is the first stakes winner from Distorted Humor mare Beach Walk, and he is a colt from the impressive Into Mischief sire.

Owned by Gary and Mary West, Beach Walk was trained by Wayne Catalano. She had five career starts, which included one second-place finish and three third-place finishes. By the time she retired, the mare had pulled in $31,227 in total earnings.

Beach Walk's performances came in maiden special weight races; she never made it to stakes level.

B. Wayne Hughes' Into Mischief is a highly-regarded name in the sport. Trained by Richard Mandella, the son of Harlan's Holiday retired with three wins and three runner-up efforts from six lifetime starts. His total earnings were $597,080.

The runner's last performance of his career was a second-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on December 26, 2008. His victories included the Damascus Stakes at Oak Tree on October 25, 2008 and the CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park on December 22, 2007. He also finished second in the San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on February 10, 2008.

Into Mischief's leading progeny includes names like Mandaloun, a leader on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby, as well as the Grade 2-winning Largent, Frank's Rockette - another Grade 2 winner - and Grade 3-winning Mischievous Alex.

Life Is Good's connections

Life Is Good is surrounded by a talented team of connections. He is trained by none other than legendary Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The trainer has a lifetime record of more than 3,100 wins from over 13,600 starts. His total purse earnings sit north of $317million.

Bob Baffert trained American Pharoah and Justify to Triple Crown success

Baffert (pictured) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 and he was awarded the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 2015. He has consistently been the leader in various top rankings. He has won the sport's most prestigious races, including all three legs of the US Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Life Is Good's regular jockey is Mike E. Smith, who has a career record of more than 5,600 wins from over 33,500 starts. His total earnings are more than $334million, averaging out to around $9,850 per start. Smith guided Life Is Good in his Sham Stakes victory.

Smith has won many significant races aboard his top horses, most notably the 2018 Triple Crown on Justify. He has also landed multiple Kentucky Oaks, Breeders' Cup events and the 2017 Dubai World Cup. Smith has received many awards including the 2019 ESPY Award for Top US Jockey and multiple Eclipse and Bill Shoemaker Awards.

The partnership of WinStar Farm and CHC Inc. that owns Life Is Good has taken 13 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds from 44 races. It has more than $900,000 in total earnings. Life Is Good is arguably the partnership's most-talented horse but they have also been responsible for names like Nashville, Sainthood, Prime Factor, Motown Music and Beaver Creek.

The colt's breeders, Gary and Mary West, have been involved in the horse racing industry for more than 30 years as both owners and breeders. They are responsible for dozens of horses and have won big events like the 2013 and 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile with New Year's Day and Game Winner, respectively.

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