By Richard Rosenblatt
If Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wins a record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 1, it won’t be with Life Is Good.
The unbeaten and early Kentucky Derby favorite returned after a Saturday morning workout at Santa Anita Park with a hind-end injury that sidelines him for the Run for the Roses.
Earlier in the day, Baffert said the unbeaten colt was out of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 3 – his next scheduled start. Later in the day, he confirmed to usracing.com that Life Is Good is off the Derby trail, “but he will be fine.”
Life Is Good is scheduled to be sent to WinStar Farm [co-owners of the colt] in Kentucky to be examined by top veterinarians. The Into Mischief 3-year-old upped his record to 3-0 with an eight-length romp in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) on March 6.
“He came back to the barn after the work and was off when he turned,” Baffert told drf.com Saturday morning. “We have to do more tests on him. It’s nothing obvious, but he’s out of the Santa Anita Derby.”
Life Is Good, also owned by the China Horse Club, worked 6 furlongs in 1:11.40 on Saturday morning. Baffert said Life is Good’s work went well, but when he returned to the barn, “he took a funny step.’’
Life Is Good was purchased for $525,000, He was the 2-1 favorite in the Derby Future Wager (Pool 4).
Baffert has several other Derby contenders in Concert Tour, Medina Spirit, Spielberg, and Hozier. He won the 2020 Derby with Authentic, equaling trainer Ben A. Jones’ record of six Derby victories.
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.