John A. Nerud: Life Is Good To Face The Grade-1 Winner Speaker’s Corner


*) , , (*/*) Life Is Good, a winner of the Breeders” Cup Dirt Mile , and Pegasus Global Cup , will be facing the Grade-1 winner Speaker’s Corner at Saturday’s Grade-2 John A. Nerud stakes at Belmont Park.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good finished fourth last out in the $12 million Dubai World Cup on March 26 at Meydan. The 4-year-old son from Into Mischief had won seven of eight starts and five outstanding graded stakes scores before that.

Before the trip overseas, he began the 2022 season with a big wire-to-wire win over the 2021 Horse of the Year Knicks Go in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

His Saturday challenge will be from Speaker’s Corner. A 4-year-old son of Street Sense colt, the Godolphin homebred has won 3-of-4 starts in 2021.

He began the year winning at Gulfstream Park, in January’s Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper and March’s Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile. In March, he was also victorious in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

He was defeated by Flightline in the Grade1 Met Mile at Belmont Park four weeks ago. This was his first defeat of the year.

After the two top horses, it appears that the remaining field of Repo Rocks and Harvard will be well matched for the seven-furlong event.

John A. Nerud Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Life Is Good

After a disappointing effort when fourth in the $12 million Dubai World Cup, one of America’s best horses is set to return on Saturday at Belmont. This son of Into Mischief has a rare talent. It is not easy to perform at your best after a long trip abroad.

This Todd Pletcher-trained star is a speed freak who was exceptionally fast. He has the kind of speed to succeed in his first attempt after three months. He could feel vulnerable following the Dubai trip, but this will be another opportunity to showcase his talents.

In Speaker’s Corner, there’s a fast horse that he’ll have to deal with, but even this rival will likely not be able to stay with him. He should win this one more time on the way to greater and better things. He’s the best pick.

Speaker’s Corner It’s not a shame for Flightline to lose, but Street Sense’s talented son would have preferred to put up a bit more effort than he did. It is a difficult situation to return four weeks later and face Life Is Good.

Jose Ortiz will decide whether or not to race with Life Is Good from the start. He will likely be challenged by the talent and speed of his favorite, so he can either go or follow.

A Grade 1 winner at this distance two years ago, he should be respected. But, I believe the race will come down to Life Is Good’s readiness for his return. This three-time winner of the Graded Stakes looks set to finish second if he’s as sharp as ever.

Repo Rocks This son of Tapiture has the most recent Nerud longshot results. He won an allowance and finished fourth in the Grade 3 Runhappy Stakes at Belmont Park. This is not enough to say much.

He likes to run at a fast pace, just like the other heavyweights. This does not help his chances of winning the actual running.

Unable to manage stakes competition previously, I don’t know how he will handle Life Is Good or Speakers Corner this Saturday.

War Tocsin

A winner of only 1-of-18 the last two seasons, this Violence gelding often shows some speed before fading in the stretch. He finished second in the Grade 3 General George at Laurel Park, his best finish in a while.

Given the speed of the others in the race, it seems he is doomed for being beaten early on and then completely disillusioned at the end. I cannot recommend him here despite all of his stakes experience.


This one will be making his first start since being gelded. He is a well-bred horse, but he’s still very lightly raced. Perhaps the alteration will allow him to improve his performance and reach his full potential. This isn’t the place to be expecting an upset win. The likely trailer is Rudolphe Brisset, who might be the most likely to win.

How to Watch the John A. Nerud Stakes

John A. Nerud Stakes Race Information What John A. Nerud Stakes (Grade 2) Location Belmont Park Time Saturday, July 2 — 2: 34 pm Eastern time How to Watch Fox Sports Purse $250,000

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