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In a game replete with peaks and valleys, Bob Baffert experienced the latter following undefeated Life Is Good’s stellar six furlong workout Saturday as the imposing son of Into Mischief exhibited signs of physical discomfort in his left hind leg as he was cooling out.
“Every day as a trainer, there’s always a possibility of something like that happening,” said Baffert on LA radio this morning. “He couldn’t have worked more beautifully. It was a great, nice cruising work like he usually does. He’s so light on his feet. He came back (to the barn), the rider said he felt great…Then all of a sudden later in the morning, you could tell something was bothering him in the hind leg.
“He took a couple funny steps, so that’s when we realized he had done something to his hind leg. He’ll be fine, he’ll be back. It wasn’t anything serious but it’s enough that he’ll need some time off. We’re gonna send him back to Kentucky and run more tests on him…Everybody that I talked to, we’re talking 60 days, so that takes him out of everything.”
Although Life is Good is officially off the Triple Crown Trail, Baffert didn’t hesitate when asked if he thought the colt could be back in time for the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in November. “He’ll be ready for that, definitely.”
With Life Is Good out of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby April 3, Baffert said he’s planning on running San Felipe Stakes runner-up Medina Spirit and possibly Defunded, who was an impressive maiden winner going six furlongs here on March 6.
With a record nine Santa Anita Derbies, a record equaling six Kentucky Derbies and two Triple Crown Champions to his credit, look for Baffert to step into his downsized role of Santa Anita Derby contender with gusto as he choregraphs a national Derby prep program headed by Concert Tour (Rebel Stakes winner on March 13), Hozier (Rebel runner-up) and Spielberg (Southwest Stakes runner-up Feb. 27).
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