The sixth running of the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park may not have turned out to be the dogfight to the finish, but it was a big hello and a fond farewell.
Life Is Good came into this mile and an eighth run over the south Florida dirt with a reputation for brilliant breaks. Spectacularly speedy, this fresh four-year-old son of Into Mischief was more than advertised. Emerging from the starting gates with winning conviction, the Todd Pletcher trainee immediately seized command. The short-run to the first turn was no problem as jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. hit the gas pedal. Opening up on the field immediately, Life Is Good never saw another horse after the first few strides. Solid early fractions (23.09 quarter-mile, 46.35 half, 1:10.15 three quarters of a mile) had him ahead by open lengths throughout. Using the same strategy as his chief race rival, he simply out Knicks Goed Knicks Go. In a real WOW performance, Life Is Good truly turned in a mercurial masterpiece.
Knicks Go has been nothing short of fantastic under the care of Brad Cox. Racing to the lead right out of the gates, he has enjoyed tremendous success during the past two years. Drawing the rail in this race was thought to be an advantage by some as the short run to the first turn would help him save ground. When Life Is Good won the break, the number one post was not so great. Forced to settle back a bit and taste a little dirt, Knicks Go did not seem to have the same Go as usual. Battling to the wire, he did run a respectable second but was never able to look the younger rival in the eye.
If you were unfamiliar with Life Is Good before the Pegasus, you certainly know him now. The great thing about this type of race in January is hopes are it is a gateway to a great rest of the year. If Life Is Good can replicate this run time and again…HELLO !
Knicks Go walks away from the game as one of the greatest stories in recent times. Thought of as a one-hit-wonder after ten straight runs that did not end at the winner’s circle, he became a two-time Breeders’ Cup champ that epitomized power. Unforgettable romps to glory in the 2021 Pegasus, Whitney, and Lukas Classic were legendary to say the least. To you Knicks Go we offer thanks for the thrills and bid a very FOND farewell.