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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

‘ESSENTIAL’, CHARLATAN #1

Edited NTRA Release — Life Is Good was as good as advertised this past weekend when the son of Into Mischief rolled to an eight-length victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

As a result of that emphatic triumph, the bay colt was able to close the gap on champion Essential Quality in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll.

Making just his third career start, Life Is Good earned his second graded stakes win when he captured the San Felipe. Off the strength of that outing, the Bob Baffert-trainee earned 17 first-place votes and 360 points to move up to second on the poll just behind Essential Quality, who continues to hold down the No. 1 slot with 20 first-place votes and 369 points.

Life Is Good broke his maiden at Del Mar last November and opened his sophomore campaign with a win in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on Jan. 2.

“He’s still green,” Baffert told the Santa Anita Park notes team about Life Is Good. “The main thing is he came out of it really well. We saw a lot of raw talent (In the San Felipe).”

Greatest Honour, winner of the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, drops one spot to third this week with 1 first-place vote and 293 points. Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes winner Mandaloun (1 first-place vote, 240 points) remains in fourth followed by Medina Spirit (174 points), Caddo River (158), Concert Tour (123), and Keepmeinmind (87).

The Mark Casse-trained Helium, upset winner of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, enters the rankings in ninth place with 72 points while Risk Taking (65 points) competes the top 10.

There was no change in the top three of the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll as Grade 1 winner Charlatan continues to lead the way with 24 first-place votes and 370 points followed by two-time Eclipse Award winner Monomoy Girl (14 first-place votes, 343 points) and multiple Grade 1 winner Knicks Go (291 points).

Joining the top 10 fray this week is the Richard Baltas-trained Idol, who earned 175 points to rank fourth following his victory in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.

Mystic Guide (1 first-place vote, 150 points) moves up one spot to fifth followed by champion filly Swiss Skydiver (148 points) and Grade 1 winner Maxfield (147).

Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes winner Colonel Liam (137 points) is eighth followed by champion female sprinter Gamine (78) and Jesus’ Team (51).

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in the Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll concludes following the Belmont Stakes on June 5 and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through November 6

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