Maxfield (Street Sense) may as well be known as the comeback kid at this point in his career, which has been plagued by injury and misfortune, but he always comes back swinging. Saturday's GIII Mineshaft S. at the Fair Grounds was no exception as the Godolphin homebred scored another good-looking win, taking his perfect record to five-for-five with his second straight win since undergoing surgery for a condylar fracture this summer.
Hammered down to 3-5 favoritism against an overmatched field, Maxfield was antsy in the gate and hopped at the start, settling at the back of the sextet through a :23.97 opening quarter. The bay inched up a bit two wide as 26-1 shot Dinar (Union Rags) ran off on a loose lead, well clear of the field through a :47.49 half-mile. He ranged up alongside Blackberry Wine (Oxbow) on the backstretch run and the pair overtook the tiring Dinar at the top of the lane. Maxfield inhaled Blackberry Wine about a stride later and sailed clear with ease to win for fun. Sonneman (Curlin) rallied to be second.
A debut winner going a mile at Churchill Downs in September 2019, Maxfield romped by 5 1/2 lengths in Keeneland's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity S. a month later. He was the early favorite heading into that season's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but defected from the World Championships just days before the race with an ankle chip. Returning to action May 23, the homebred rallied to another convincing score in the GIII Matt Winn S. beneath the Twin Spires, but was forced off the GI Kentucky Derby trail a month later after suffering a condylar fracture to his right front leg during a work out. Making yet another comeback in NOLA Dec. 19, Maxfield proved as good as ever, registering a facile victory in the Tenacious S.
Sheikh Mohammed/Godolphin runners have won the G1 Dubai World Cup on nine occasions since its inception in 1996, but never with one from their American-based strings. That could change this year.
“'We'll see [about the World Cup],” said trainer Brendan Walsh, who send out Plus Que Parfait (Point of Entry) to win the G2 UAE Derby on the World Cup undercard in 2019. “We'll go back, see how he comes out, talk to the team, and come up with a plan. All options are open. We'll enjoy today. He's making the progress we want him to make and I think we're in great shape with the horse.”
Maxfield's pedigree has Godolphin all over it from top to bottom, sired by Street Sense–a son of the operation's Street Cry (Ire)–and out of fellow Sheikh Mohammed homebred Velvety, a daughter of Street Sense's barnmate Bernardini. He is one of 11 Grade I winners, 35 graded winners and 77 black-type winners by Street Sense. Maxfield is also one of 11 Grade I victors, 24 graded scorers and 44 black-type winners out of a daughter of Bernardini, who has been increasing his prominence as a broodmare sire. Godolphin went to $3.1-million at the 2000 KEENOV sale to acquire Maxfield's second dam, MGSW Caress (Storm Cat), in foal to Coronado's Quest. Caress is responsible for Grade I-winning sire Sky Mesa (Pulpit) and MGSW Golden Velvet (Seeking the Gold), who is the dam of graded winners Lucullan (Hard Spun) and Innovative Idea (Bernardini). Maxfield was only Velvety's second foal and she has since produced the 3-year-old colt Dubai Vision (Medaglia d'Oro) and a juvenile filly by Medaglia d'Oro. Her 2020 colt by Street Sense died and she was bred back to Uncle Mo. This is also the family of graded winners Good Samaritan (Harlan's Holiday), Brave Nation (Pioneerof the Nile), Country Cat (Storm Cat), Della Francesca (Danzig) and Bernstein (Storm Cat).
Saturday, Fair Grounds
MINESHAFT S.-GIII, $200,000, Fair Grounds, 2-13, 4yo/up, 1 1/16m, 1:43.67, ft.
1–MAXFIELD, 122, c, 4, by Street Sense
1st Dam: Velvety, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Caress, by Storm Cat
3rd Dam: La Affirmed, by Affirmed
O-Godolphin LLC; B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brendan P Walsh; J-Florent Geroux. $126,000. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-5-0-0, $615,262. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
2–Sonneman, 118, c, 4, Curlin–Zardana (Brz), by Crimson Tide (Ire). ($375,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-Courtlandt Farms (Donald & Donna Adam); B-Arnold Zetcher LLC (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen. $40,000.
3–Chess Chief, 118, h, 5, Into Mischief–Un Blessed, by Mineshaft. ($145,000 RNA Ylg '17 FTSAUG). O-Estate of James J Coleman Jr; B-Morgan's Ford Farm (VA); T-Dallas Stewart. $20,000.
Margins: 3 1/4, HF, 1. Odds: 0.60, 18.30, 12.90.
Also Ran: Blackberry Wine, Enforceable, Dinar. Scratched: Wells Bayou. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.