DEL MAR, Calif. – WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Life Is Good ($3.40) shrugged off a challenge from Ginobili at the top of the stretch and drew off by 5 ¾ lengths to win the 15th running of the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Del Mar.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Life Is Good covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:34.12. The victory is the 12th Breeders’ Cup score for Pletcher and second in the Dirt Mile and the 14th for Ortiz, second in the Dirt Mile and third for the 2021 World Championships.
Life Is Good, now a winner of five of six career starts, quickly took command out of the gate and opened a daylight advantage going into the first turn. He maintained that clear edge until the far turn when Ginobili ranged up to his outside but quickly repulsed that threat and cruised to victory.
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Distorted Humor mare Beach Walk, Life Is Good added $520,000 to his bankroll that swelled to $1,059,200.
Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Quotes
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Life Is Good) – “We were hoping for that, expecting that based on the way that he’s been training, but it’s always great to see it actually happen. He took it to them. Just too much horse.”
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Life Is Good) – “I had a perfect trip. He broke out of there running, he relaxed for me. I wasn’t worried about those other runners early in the race, because I knew he was so fast. When we got to the quarter pole, he re-broke for me. What a nice horse to ride.”
Trainer Richard Baltas (Ginobili, second) – “We just ran into a better horse. We got a great trip and it looked around the turn that we were making a move and we’re going to win it, but Life Is Good kicked clear. I mean, I’m pretty happy. I would be happier if we’d had won it, but Ginobili ran a great race.”
Jockey Drayden Van Dyke (Ginobili, second) – “With how fast they we were going, I thought it was going to set up perfectly for us. But the winner had another gear when we got to him but I am super happy with Ginobili. It was the kind of trip that we wanted and we got it. We were just second best today.”
Trainer Val Brinkerhoff (Restrainedvengence, third) – “He ran very good. We kind of got away bad. We thought we would be back, but not that far. I think if we had a little bit better start we might have gotten second. I don’t think we would have beaten the winner. He ran a heck of a race.”
Jockey Edwin Maldonado (Restrainedvengence, third) – “My horse ran well and I’m happy we ran third. The winner was just too good.”
Breeders’ Cup Press Release