Life Is Good by Knicks Go | is shown in the Pegasus away Ap-Sport – Archyworldys

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Life Is Good immediately went to the top and stayed there, easily winning the $3 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday and denying Knicks Go in what would have been a fairytale end to his career.

The 4-year-old – who might have been the Kentucky Derby favorite last year if not for an ankle injury – showed his speed from the moment the gate opened, pulling a five-length lead after just a quarter of a mile and was never challenged.

The win capped a big day for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who teamed up just before the main event to win the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf with Colonel Liam.

Life Is Good grossed $3.60, $2.10, and $2.10. Knicks Go — the likely Horse of the Year for 2021 after winning the Pegasus and Breeders’ Cup Classics, among others — brought in $2.10 and $2.10, respectively. Stilleto Boy, a 25-1 shot behind the 4-5 co-favorites, paid $2.80 to show it.

“It’s been a tremendous effort,” Pletcher said of Life Is Good. “He’s definitely broken… He’s just a special horse.”

It was Pletcher’s first Pegasus World Cup win, and after that, the seven-time Eclipse Award winner showered Life Is Good with praise as the game’s top coach.

“We’ve had a lot of great ones,” Pletcher said. “I can’t think of anyone better than him.”

It was a bittersweet ending for Knicks Go.

It was already a given that he would retire after that race, and second place denied him the chance to push his career earnings past $10 million. He settled into third place in the early stages, struggling all the way but never being able to scare Life Is Good.

“The horse was really fast. He was a much better horse than us today,” said Knicks Go trainer Brad Cox. “Look, we were second best. Congratulations to Todd Pletcher, one of the best that ever lived. There is no shame in finishing second behind him today.”

Assuming he emerges from the Pegasus with no injury worries, Life Is Good is likely expecting another big money race on his next outing. The World Cup in Dubai would be something his connections would consider.

“He’s unreal,” Ortiz said. “He’s the best horse I’ve sat on in my entire life.”


Colonel Liam competed back-to-back for Pletcher and Ortiz to win the $1 million Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup turf for the second straight year.

Colonel Liam, the 8-5 favorite, watched another Pletcher trainee run from the outside of the 12-horse field to the early lead in Never Surprised. Never Surprised held it most of the way before Colonel Liam stopped off the track and eventually came to the front.

Colonel Liam returned $5.20, $3.60 and $3. Never surprised, stayed in second place at 7-2 and paid $5.20 and $4.20.

“It was a great race for both horses,” said Pletcher.

Space Traveler, a 12-1 pick, eventually emerged from a wall of pursuers to finish third and paid $6.20 to show up.

“We had to do everything exactly according to plan,” Pletcher said.

Ortiz was emotional after winning the turf race for the third time in four years. He was diagnosed with a small fracture in his left knee earlier this month and was initially told he might not be able to compete in the Pegasus races.

“It’s been a tough month, of course,” Ortiz said. “I have a lot of people to thank…and Todd Pletcher for letting me ride the horse.”


In the opening event of Grade 3, $500,000 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf, the heavily favored Regal Glory was pushed wide in the early five and had to rally from the bottom for the win under jockey Jose Ortiz and for trainer Chad Brown.

Regal Glory was sent off at 4-5, returning $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40. She was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Alms by 19-1 ($11.20, $6.40) while Shifty She – who had the lead in the stretch – settled for third place and paid $4.80 .

Sweet Melania, second pick 5-1, finished last in the field of 10 contestants.

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