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Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Life Is Good
Life Is Good winning the Sham (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Life Is Good

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) less than two months away, I’m back for my second year of analyzing some of the top contenders’ pedigrees.

This week’s subject: Life Is Good

This undefeated 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert has lived up to the hype through 3 starts and posted a 107 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start. The sky appears to be the limit after what we’ve seen from him on the track, but what does his pedigree say?  

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Kentucky Derby Ranking

Life Is Good is currently second in the Kentucky Derby standings with 60 points and $240k in non-restricted stakes earnings. His points came by the way of winning the Sham Stakes (G3) and the San Felipe Stakes (G2), the latter netting him that 107 Beyer Speed Figure that is the highest from any Derby prep in 2021. Practically every expert has Life is Good either first or second in their Kentucky Derby rankings alongside Essential Quality.

The San Felipe has produced 2 Kentucky Derby winners in the past seven years: California Chrome in 2014 and Authentic in 2020. Let’s see if Life is Good has what it takes to be the third in the last eight.

Sire Profile

Into Mischief

Major career wins: 2007 CashCall Futurity Stakes (G1)

With Life Is Good and Mandaloun both earning enough points to secure a starting spot in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, Into Mischief seems poised to add to his already impressive stallion resume. He was the number 1-ranked sire in North America based on progeny earnings in 2019 and 2020, when he was also the only sire to eclipse $20 million in progeny earnings.

Into Mischief will attempt to join the handful of stallions in Kentucky Derby history to have sired multiple winners. The most recent to do so was Maria’s Mon, who sired the 2001 champion Monarchos and the 2010 victor Super Saver. Into Mischief would also be the first stallion in history to sire back-to-back winners.

Dam Profile

Beach Walk

Major career wins: None

Winless in 5 career starts, this daughter of Distorted Humor disappointed on the track after selling for $435k at the Keeneland Yearling sale in 2014. Her pedigree is why she sold for such a high price; her bloodlines go back through the great Mr. Prospector (on Distorted Humor’s side) and A.P. Indy (dam’s side).

Beach Walk had no luck as a racehorse but is off to a fast and promising start as a broodmare Of her three foals, two made the starting gate and both won and the third (a Blame filly) isn’t of racing age yet. Life Is Good sold for $525k at the Keeneland Yearling sale in 2019 and Beach Walk’s other foal to race won routing on dirt. For 2021, she bred to Candy Ride, a top-10 stallion in the past decade.

Life Is Good (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

I’m not alone in thinking that Life Is Good might be a freak and is a serious contender for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. With the speed and stamina that his pedigree possesses, he should continue performing like he did in the San Felipe. Life Is Good is the top 3-year-old on the west coast and will make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Assuming he stays healthy, he should give trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Kentucky Derby winner since 2015.

Let me know what you think!

Vinny Blond is a New York-based handicapper who is one half of Real Dynasty Picks. Follow him on Twitter @PicksByDynasty.

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