LEXINGTON, KY – Godolphin’s homebred Maxfield put forth a monstrous effort in the stretch, sweeping past the highly-regarded Gouverneur Morris before taking off to win Saturday’s $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
The Breeders’ Futurity is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Maxfield receiving an automatic berth in the TVG Juvenile at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking a step slow from post 6 under Jose Ortiz at 6/1 odds, Maxfield lingered near the rear while American Butterfly set the opening pace, posting fractions of :24.01, :47.78, and 1:12.46. Sent from post 10 as the 3/2 favorite, Gouverneur Morris was unable to clear enough foes to his inside and was forced to run three-wide into the clubhouse turn.
Finding his best footing midway down the backstretch, Maxfield began picking off foes quickly and efficiently while zig-zagging through the field in the far turn. Near the top of the stretch, Maxfield’s momentum slingshot him past Gouverneur Morris, who had momentarily taken the lead midway through the turn.
Continuing to draw off powerfully in the stretch, Maxfield crossed 5 1/2 lengths much the best in a final time of 1:44.21 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“He’s a very nice horse and he’s very smart,” Ortiz said of the Brendan Walsh trainee. “He broke slow first time, took dirt and came running at Churchill (Downs when he broke his maiden). Today, he did the same thing. Broke a bit slow, relaxed, and when I asked him to go, he was there for me the whole time.”
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