Pletcher Prepares Life Is Good For Kelso, Wit For Champagne

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher worked graded stakes winner Life Is Good a half-mile over the training track Saturday in preparation for Saturday’s $300,000 Grade 2 Kelso Handicap, a one-turn mile for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm, the son of leading sire Into Mischief recorded his four-furlong move in :48.46 over a fast main track – the 17th fastest of 132 recorded works at the distance. This was a second work back for Life Is Good following a game runner-up effort in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, where he engaged in a dramatic stretch duel with Jackie’s Warrior, coming up a neck shy of victory.

“I thought he worked super,” Pletcher said. “I was really pleased with the way he went and it looked like he was moving along there really well.”

Unbeaten in his previous three efforts, which include victories in the Grade 3 Sham and Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., this winter, Life Is Good will see an increase in ground from the seven-furlong H. Allen Jerkens.

“I think it’s a good progression for him coming off the layoff and the one seven-eighths race.”

Pletcher also worked three-time Grade 1-winner Malathaat Saturday, who went an easy half-mile in :49.49 over the Belmont training track in her first breeze since winning the Grade 1 Alabama on August 19 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Pletcher said the Shadwell Stable-owned daughter of Curlin will train up to the $3 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff on November 6 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

“It was her first work back and she did it well,” Pletcher said. “Her energy level is really good at the moment. We plan on training up to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Also returning to the work tab for Pletcher was Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, and Gainesway Stable’s Wit, who was second after stumbling at the start of the Grade 1 Hopeful on September 6 at Saratoga.

The son of freshman stallion Practical Joke went a half-mile in :49.93 over the Belmont training track and will target the $500,000 Grade 1 Champagne on October 2 – a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the $2 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on November 5 at Del Mar.

“He worked well,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully, we get a little cleaner break this time. It certainly hurt his chances, he fell on his head leaving there, but I thought he ran on courageously after that.”

Pletcher said Bass Stables homebred Annapolis, who broke his maiden on debut going two turns over Saratoga’s inner turf by 4 ½ lengths, will target the $200,000 Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 3 at Belmont Park.

The post Pletcher Prepares Life Is Good For Kelso, Wit For Champagne appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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