LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 26, 2021) — Godolphin’s 4-year-old Maxfield ($2.80) dominated Saturday’s Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, sweeping to a 3 ¾-length victory, and gained an automatic berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California on Nov. 5-6. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$10,000 for all starters based outside of California, and a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America, to compete in the World Championships.
Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by Jose Ortiz, completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.53 over a fast track, and gained his seventh win in eight starts. A dark bay son of Street Sense, Maxfield joins Cafe Pharoah, winner of the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan on Feb. 21, as the first two horses to earn automatic starting positions into this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼-miles at Del Mar.
The Stephen Foster was one of three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races run on Saturday. Earlier on the Churchill Downs program, St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska registered a 5 ¾-length victory in the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2), a “Win and You’re” for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Letruska completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.57.
The Fleur de Lis was Letruska’s second Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race victory this year. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Letruska, a bay daughter of Super Saver, earned a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff when she won the Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park on June 5.
In Lima, Peru, Stud Arriba Arequipa’s longshot 3-year-old filly Reina de Mollendo (ARG), trained by Luis Olivares and ridded by Miguel Vilcarima, went to the front early and held off the fast-closing Quinta Nota (PER) to win the 1 ¼-mile Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) at Hipodromo Monterrico and gained an automatic starting position into the $ 2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
Photo: Maxfield winning Stephen Foster Stakes, (Eclipse Sportswire).