News and STORIES

Maxfield Prepares For 3-Year-Old Debut

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday March 02, 2020
Godolphin's homebred Maxfield turned in a half-mile breeze on Sunday as part of his preparations for his 3-year-old debut. He is unraced since winning the Oct. 5 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) in what was his second career start.

The work was Maxfield's third since mid-February, and they were all over the main track at Palm Meadows. The site is Gulfstream Park's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. He completed four furlongs in :48.45 and was the fastest of 41 timed at the distance on Sunday. 

"He worked really well," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "He worked a half in :49 and went out five-eighths and three-quarters and went out good, so he's starting to step up a little bit now. The next work or two we'll have a good idea of where we're going to go with him, but he's doing good."

Breeders' Cup Juvenile 

Maxfield was scratched from a start in the Nov. 1 TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) after suffering a minor foot bruise discovered three days before the race. On Feb. 17, he returned to the work tab and got three furlongs in :38 1/5, and he went a half-mile in :51 1/5 Feb. 24.

"We have to see with him, because it'll be a question of, do we take a shot at one of the Derby trials if he's doing real good or just try to find something a little softer for him off the layoff?" Walsh said. "That's just the way it is. We're still not quite decided on it, and it's going to be him that makes the decision for us, really. But, I wouldn't rule anything in or out."

Preakness Stakes

Walsh did not believe there would be enough time to run Maxfield in the March 28 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream, which runs at 1 1/8 miles. He also said that there is a possibility of skipping the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) in favor of the May 16 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. 

"I don't know if we'd throw him to the wolves off the layoff in something like the Florida Derby. That's probably unlikely, but I'm saying that like there's any really softer spots. When you get that close to the Derby, everybody's trying to go at it so no matter where you go you're going to come up against some good ones," Walsh said. "We're kind of watching what's going on with everybody else, too.

"The other thing would be to come back maybe somewhere around Keeneland and run him in the Preakness. That might be the other option," he added. "It doesn't matter where he comes back, he's going to be a good horse this year. It's just a question about what the timing allows us to do. We'd all love to win the Derby, but on the same point, I'm not going to sacrifice a horse like him just for it."


According to Walsh, Vitalogy came out of his comeback victory in the Palm Beach (G3) in good order. He was scratched from a planned run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America (G1T).

"Everything's good with him this morning. We're happy with him," Walsh said. "It was a good spot for him to come back in. He ran a hell of a race and I think he'll improve a lot for it, too, because we had just enough work in him."