Maxfield gets game face on with 47 4/5 work at Keeneland
By Alicia Hughes, Director of NTRA communications
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, Oct. 25, 2019) — If the objective heading into his final pre-Breeders’ Cup workout was to fill Maxfield’s mind with as much confidence as possible in advance of his expected run in the $2 million Juvenile, keeping his ego in check might be the new challenge in the wake of his sizzling half-mile move at Keeneland on Friday.
The Godolphin homebred did his part to make sure Dale Romans-trainee Dennis’ Moment doesn’t corner the market on buzz heading into the Juvenile, working four furlongs in a wicked 47.80 seconds under exercise rider Paul Madden in his last bit of serious fine tuning before shipping to Santa Anita Park this weekend.
Technically, Maxfield worked in company with stablemate Corkman. After breaking off a couple lengths back of his barnmate, however, the winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity turned the exercise into a solo showcase as he clocked splits of :12.60, :24.80, and :36.40 before blowing by his partner in the lane under mild hand urging and galloping out well in front in :59.
“That was great. He looked like he picked up really well, which is what we wanted,” trainer Brendan Walsh said of the colt who provided him his first career Grade 1 triumph. “We wanted him to finish up the last quarter nice and sharp and he did. He came back and he just looks like he was out galloping. He’s fit and he’s ready go to.
“I just wanted to get a lead for him (by working him in company), just have something to take him there early on and have him go by something and pump him with as much confidence as we can. That’s as good a work as I’ve seen the horse do.”
Though favoritism for the Juvenile appears as if it will run through Dennis’ Moment and Grade 1 winner Eight Rings, Maxfield has looked a man among boys in both his appearances on the racetrack and how he handles the lessons being thrown at him.
Physically, the bay colt has the same presence as his sire Street Sense, who himself won the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile en route to taking divisional honors. Maxfield was given time to grow into his frame while training at Ellis Park in the summer and after breaking his maiden first time out at Churchill Downs on September 14, he flaunted a tremendous kick when he circled rivals and drew off to a 5 ½ length victory in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 5.
“He’s just done everything so right and today, I think Brendan wanted that last little quarter to just kind of get his game face on,” said Godolphin USA president Jimmy Bell. “We’re getting ready to go to town, if you will. As you can tell from his racing, he’s very easy to place. He’s not a horse who has to have things a certain way. This colt would really give you a sense of a physical replication of his daddy…and I just hope he can somewhat follow the same trail his dad did.”
Joining Maxfield on the worktab at Keeneland Friday morning was stablemate Vitalogy (GB), who went four furlongs in 51.20 seconds on the turf in preparation for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 1. Previously trained by Joseph O’Brien, Vitalogy joined Walsh’s shedrow after his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 15 and was beaten just a neck for the win in the Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes after enduring a challenging trip from post 14.
Both Maxfield and Vitalogy are set to ship to California on Saturday. “Everything has gone according to plan so far, so hopefully we get out there in good shape and have a good week,” Walsh said.
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