Life Is Good, Hot Rod Charlie Work Toward Classic Showdown With FlightlineOctober 29, 2022
Two horses who figure to be among the top choices behind Flightline in next Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Life Is Good, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable and Strauss Bros Racing’s Hot Rod Charlie, trained by Doug O’Neill – turned in their final major works today a little after 9 a.m.
Life Is Good worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 on his own with fractions of :12, :24.60, :49, 1:00.60 then out 6 furlongs in 1:13.20, seven-eighths in 1:25.80 and the mile in 1:39.80.
“He is a superior work horse,” Pletcher said. “Today was typical of what we have seen his whole career.”
Pletcher is optimistic about Life Is Good returning to the 1¼-mile distance in the Classic after his fourth-place effort in the Dubai World Cup (G1) Sponsored by Emirates Airline in March.
“He is hard to pull up at the end (of his workouts),” he said. “We are eager to run on a real track not like in Dubai, which was really deep that night. I think that played against him.”
In Pletcher’s other Saturday workers:
His other Classic pre-entrant, Happy Saver, owned by Wertheimer and Frere, strategically had what the trainer called a “spirited gallop” in lieu of a timed breeze.
“We let him two-minute clip the whole way around,” Pletcher said. “We are going to do similar to what we did before the (Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan-G1): just one breeze two weeks out. He tends to run better when he is fresh. He’ll have a few more strong gallops. He won’t breeze again.”
Also working this morning on the main track for Pletcher were Nest and Malathaat for the Distaff (G1). In company with recent maiden winner Inventing, Nest worked a half-mile in :50.40. Malathaat worked a half-mile in :49.60 with the 3-year-old maiden Old Point.
Working on the grass together were Annapolis (Mile) and Major Dude (Juvenile Turf), who were timed in :50.40 for a half-mile.
Hot Rod Charlie, others work for O’Neill: Shortly after Life Is Good finished his exercise, Hot Rod Charlie began a 6-furlong work in company with Roses N Gold, a 3-year-old maiden winner.
With Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Hot Rod Charlie started 4 lengths in back of his workmate, cut the deficit in half by the quarter pole and cruised past at the eighth pole en route to a 6-furlong time of 1:12.80.
“He looked good and I got him in 1:12 and 4,” O’Neill said.
Four other O’Neill runners who are pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup worked this morning.
They were Awake At Midnyte (5 furlongs, 1:01.20, Distaff), Slow Down Andy (5 furlongs, 1:00.40, Dirt Mile), Vegas Magic (5 furlongs, 1:02.20, Juvenile Fillies) and Sharp Aza Tack (5 furlongs, 1:01 on the training track, Juvenile Turf Sprint).