Trainer Walsh has Maxfield on track for start in Stephen Foster

May 21, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Godolphin’s talented 4-year-old multiple graded stakes winner Maxfield is on target to make his next start in the $600,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) on June 26 at Churchill Downs.

“We brought him over to Keeneland after Derby Week at Churchill and we are targeting the Stephen Foster,” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “He’ll make his way back to Churchill and we’ll likely work him Saturday. I think the timing of this race works out well for us because it’s the same timing following his race in the Santa Anita Handicap (GI). We know he loves it here at Churchill and I think with age and time he can keep improving.”

Maxfield rebounded from his third-place effort in the Santa Anita Handicap with a dominating 3 ¼-legnth score in the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) on the undercard of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). 

The homebred son of Street Sense was an early Kentucky Derby (GI) favorite in 2020 but was forced to the sidelines with an injury to his right front leg. The colt spent nearly seven months away from the winner’s circle but returned at the end of his 3-year-old campaign with a 2 ½-length win the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Nominations for the Stephen Foster close Saturday, June 12. The 1 1/8-mile race is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Del Mar. The winner will receive a berth to the season-ending championship event.

Next Saturday is Stephen Foster Preview Day at Churchill Downs with seven stakes races. Many of those races will be used as steppingstones to seven stakes on Stephen Foster Day. The fields for Stephen Foster Preview Day continue to take shape and likely entrants will become available in the coming days. 

SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN TO TARGET WISE DAN – Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s seven-time winner Somelikeithotbrown will target the $300,000 Wise Dan (Grade II) at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Mike Maker.

Somelikeithotbrown was a gutsy one-length winner of the $250,000 Dinner Party Stakes (GII) last Saturday at Pimlico. The son of Big Brown has banked $842,838 earnings through 19-career starts.

“He’s been a great horse to have in the barn,” Maker said. “He runs so hard every time and he showed that last weekend.”

The Wise Dan, run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, is part of seven stakes events on June 26 at Churchill Downs. Nominations will close Saturday, June 12.

TV SCHEDULE – Churchill Downs Racing is scheduled to air every race day on “America’s Day at the Races” on the Fox Sports family of networks. Here is this week’s TV Schedule:

–         Friday: Fox Sports 2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)

–         Saturday: Fox Sports 2 (1-3 p.m., 4-11:30 p.m.)

–         Sunday: Fox Sports 2 (12:30-3 p.m., 4-5:30 p.m.)

DOWN THE STRETCH: Racing beneath the Twin Spires returns Friday with a first post of 12:45 p.m. The nine-race card featured a $66,182 jackpot carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6. The sequence spanned Races 4-9. … Trainer Brad Cox’s Kentucky Derby duo of Essential Quality and Mandaloun are both scheduled to work at Churchill Downs on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. Essential Quality will likely make his next start in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (GI) while a next race has yet to be determined for Mandaloun but Cox reported the $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) at Churchill Downs on May 29 could be an option. … Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Helium is likely to enter the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn, according to trainer Mark Casse’s assistant David Carroll. … Saturday night is Downs After Dark presented by Budweiser. Dust off your cowboy boots and hats to get ready for a night of country-themed entertainment. There will be 11 races and a first post of 6 p.m. For more information about Downs After Dark and the Spring Meet, visit https://www.churchilldowns.com/calendar/featured-events/.

Churchill Downs Press Release

Photo: Maxfield (Churchill Downs/Coady Photo)

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