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LOUISVILLE, KY – Godolphin homebred Maxfield bounced back from his first career defeat with a lengthy victory in Friday’s $400,000 Alysheba Stakes Presented by Sentient Jet (G2) at Churchill Downs.
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Maxfield broke from the far outside post 6 under Jose Ortiz as the 1/2 favorite in the field of older males and settled into a mid-pack stalking position while Roadster pressed Visitant through opening fractions of :23.91, :47.48, and 1:11.28.
Ortiz sent Maxfield three-wide toward the lead through the far turn and straightened for home in control, then stretched out powerfully to win the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:41.39.
“I was very confident all the way around,” said Ortiz, who also rode the Brendan Walsh trainee in his first 3 starts, all wins. “We were right where I wanted to be. When it came time to go, he was there for me. He’s one of the nice ones.”
Visitant finished second by 4 1/4 lengths over Chess Chief, himself a 1/2-length and a neck ahead of Roadster and Sonneman, respectively.
Attachment Rate completed the order of finish.
Maxfield’s win was a return to form after finishing third in last month’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1), his only defeat now through 7 starts. The 4-year-old Street Sense colt has now earned $908,782.
“I just told Jose to get him in a nice rhythm, he likes to roll along and get into that cruising speed,” Walsh said. “He’s an adaptable horse, so he’s easy to ride under whatever the circumstances. Physically he’s a stronger horse, as time’s gone on, he’s gradually filled out and he’s up to his full maturity, which is exciting. He loves this track, and he hasn’t done anything wrong. But actually he hasn’t done anything wrong at any track where he’s run. He’s just a very good horse.”
Maxfield returned $3 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Visitant brought back $6.60 to place and $4.20 to show. Chess Chief paid $3 to show.
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