Maxfield the One to Beat in Woodward


Maxfield | Sarah Andrew

With three graded wins on his resume so far this year, the highly regarded Maxfield (Street Sense) will take on five rivals in Saturday's GI Woodward S., which returns to Belmont Park for the first time since 2005.

The 2021 GIII Mineshaft S., GII Alysheba S. and GII Stephen Foster S. hero was second-best behind Knicks Go (Paynter) in the GI Whitney S. at Saratoga last time Aug. 7. The 7-5 morning-line favorite, winner of the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at two, adds blinkers here.

“For his stallion career and everything, it would be very important to get a Grade I win in him this year,” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “He should love the sweeping turns here. He seems to run his turns very well, which is probably the strongest part of his races. A big horse like him with a big stride on him, I can't see why it wouldn't be to his advantage more than anything.”

Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) ended a five-race losing streak returning from a January layoff to capture Monmouth's GIII Philip H. Iselin S. last time Aug. 21. Placed first via disqualification after coming up a nose short behind subsequent GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Vino Rosso (Curlin) in the 2019 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont, Code of Honor boasts a record of 6-3-2-1 over Big Sandy. He also has wins in the 2019 GIII Dwyer S. and 2020 GIII Westchester S. here.

The in-form Art Collector (Bernardini), winner of last year's GII Blue Grass S., made it two-for-two since joining Hall of Famer Bill Mott's barn, pairing up 103 Beyers with a sharp score in the GII Charles Town Classic S. Aug. 27. Mott will also saddle Forza Di Oro (Speightstown), third as the favorite after setting the pace in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga Sept. 4.

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