Appropriately named debut winner Life Is Good's Nov. 22 victory at Del Mar allowed his sire, Spendthrift Farm's Into Mischief , to break the North American single-season progeny earnings record set by Gainesway's Tapit in 2016.
Into Mischief's progeny earnings from only Northern Hemisphere racing now totals $19,994,720, according to The Jockey's Club Information Systems' Equineline, meaning the 15-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday is $11,547 ahead of Tapit's record of $19,983,173 with still 38 days remaining for 2020.
"Tapit is a wonderful sire, so to eclipse his record is something special," said Ned Toffey, general manager of Spendthrift Farm. "To have these kinds of numbers, you have to be consistent and you have to be brilliant. Into Mischief just gets one good runner after another."
Life Is Good is co-owned by China Horse Club and WinStar Farm. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, the colt won by 9 1/2 lengths and earned $34,200 in purses. Gary and Mary West bred the colt in Kentucky out of the Distorted Humor mare Beach Walk. The colt's owners bought him at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $525,000 through Paramount Sales.
Into Mischief's progeny performance statistics for 2020 alone speak to his consistency as a sire. Besides leading by progeny earnings, he is the top sire by number of winners (174), number of black-type winners (28), number of black-type performers (58), and has the highest percentage of black-type performers from runners (14.5%). Into Mischief is the co-leader by number of grade 1 winners with three alongside WinStar Farm's Speightstown and More Than Ready , Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa's Violence , and Claiborne Farm's War Front .
"Early on in his career, we used to talk about what this horse could accomplished if he could keep up his numbers with bigger books and they're pretty close," Toffey said. Into Mischief's 11% lifetime black-type winners from starters is near to what he accomplished in his first three crops, which was a combined 12% stakes winners from starters. The sire's 71% lifetime winners from starters is far ahead of the collective 54% winners from starters in his first three crops. Into Mischief was the leading North American sire by number of winners in 2018 (180) and 2019 (216).
Into Mischief's other accomplishments this year alone are extraordinary. Authentic became the sire's first Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner and followed that performance with a victory in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), which puts him in front for Horse of the Year honors. Authentic has been retired and will enter stud next year at Spendthrift at a fee of $75,000.
Toffey said he would also add to Into Mischief's feats for 2020 the success of his son and leading third-crop sire Goldencents , who leads his sire class by progeny earnings ($5,997,930), number of winners (92), number of black-type winners (six), and number of graded stakes winners (three).
"Now Into Mischief is going to that next level and proving himself as a sire of sires," Toffey said. "We're running out of superlatives."