(Mayfield winning the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last Fall / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Godolphin’s Maxfield was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Matt Winn presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade III).
“I feel like all of us have been anticipating his next start since his scratch before the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile),” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “We always thought that his best races were ahead of him. When he debuted last year I really wasn’t even thinking about the Breeders’ Futurity if he won that race. I had thought that his best races were going to be when he turned 3-years-old or even into next year.”
Maxfield was one of the likely favorites for last year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) following his $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) victory but a minor ankle injury forced him to scratch and spend several months on the sidelines. Maxfieldshipped back to Walsh’s string of horses in South Florida but once the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he was forced to switch plans for his seasonal bow.
“It would’ve been a little bit unorthodox if we were still prepping for the Derby (on the first Saturday in May),” Walsh said. “We were still going to target the Derby but we would’ve only had one race to get him qualified. Now, we have a couple of races that we can get him ready for the race in September.”
Saturday’s Matt Winn is the first race on the revised Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule and will award the Top 4 finishers points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. The Matt Winn is the featured race on Saturday’s program that has been dubbed “Stephen Foster Preview Day” and features four additional stakes events: the $100,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin (Race 8), $100,000 Blame (Race 9) and $100,000 War Chant (Race 11). First post is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Matt Winn is slated at 5:44 p.m.
The card includes a trio of Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers along with the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot. The late Pick 5 will have a guaranteed pool of $500,000 and feature an all-stakes sequence. Free Brisnet past performances and additional handicapping information will be available at www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.
The full field for the Matt Winn from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Mystic Guide (Brian Hernandez Jr., Mike Stidham, 15-1); Pneumatic(Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 4-1); Informative (John Bisono, Uriah St. Lewis, 20-1); Celtic Striker (Manny Franco, Ray Handal, 20-1); Flap Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Jack Sisterson, 20-1); Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez, Saffie Joseph Jr., 10-1); Necker Island (Tyler Gaffalione, Stanley Hough, 15-1); Crypto Cash (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek, 20-1); Shake Some Action (Javier Castellano, Brad Cox, 12-1); Maxfield (Ortiz, Walsh, 5-2); Attachment Rate (John Velazquez, Dale Romans, 4-1); and Major Fed (Joel Rosario, Greg Foley, 5-1).
SATURDAY’S LATE PICK 5 FEATURES $500,000 GUARANTEED POOL – The late 50-cent Pick 5 on Saturday will feature a $500,000 guaranteed pool with an all-stakes sequence in Races 7-11.
The stellar five-race sequence will kick-off at 4:08 p.m. and feature the $100,000 Shawnee presented by TwinSpires.com (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin presented by Woodford Reserve (Race 8), $100,000 Blame presented by Norton Healthcare (Race 9), $150,000 Matt Winn (Grade III) (Race 10), and $100,000 War Chant presented by TwinSpires.com (Race 11).