Godolphin’s multiple graded stakes-winning colt Maxfield completed his major preparation Friday for next week’s Grade I, $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare with a five-furlong move at Churchill Downs in 1:01.20.
Under the watchful eye of trainer Brendan Walsh, Maxfield completed his final work before the Nov. 26 Clark under assistant trainer and exercise rider Tom Molloy. The seven-time winner is set to retire from racing following the Clark and stand at Godolphin’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky.
“We’ll certainly all miss him around the barn,” Walsh said. “This horse just cruises over this racetrack. He simply loves it at Churchill. He’s doing everything great leading into this race and we’ll be ready to go come Friday.”
Molloy, who regularly gallops and works some of Walsh’s top horses, is set to begin his own training career following the Clark. The Ireland-native and former jockey has worked as an assistant trainer since 2015 and is poised to make his first start at Turfway Park in December.
“I’ve been on Maxfield at various racetracks around the country and I’ve never seen a horse that likes it at Churchill as much as he does,” Molloy said. “He’s just so effortless when he hits the ground here.”
Maxfield holds a perfect record from four starts at Churchill Downs. The Street Sense colt won the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) in June and the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) on the undercard of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
Entries for Friday’s 1 1/8-mile Clark will be taken Sunday. The 147th renewal of the race is expected to include a talented field of colts and geldings such as Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Grade III winner and multiple Grade I placed colt Midnight Bourbon. The Steve Asmussen runner has been training consistently at Churchill Downs following his eventful runner-up effort to Hot Rod Charlie in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (GI) where he was forced very wide into the final turn.
STAKES PROBABLES – The 132nd Fall Meet from Churchill Downs will close with six stakes events over Thanksgiving weekend that will cumulatively award $2.45 million in purse money. Here are some of the likely starters, according to assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator Dan Bork:
- The 106th running of the $500,000 Falls City (GII) at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up (entries taken Saturday): Audrey’s Time (trainer Neil Pessin); Bonny South (Brad Cox); Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek); Crystal Ball (Rodolphe Brisset); and Envoutante (Kenny McPeek).
- The 147th running of the $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up (entries taken Sunday): Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey); Happy Saver (Todd Pletcher); King Fury (Kenny McPeek); Maxfield (Brendan Walsh); Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen); and Militarist (Carlo Vaccarezza). Possible: Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy), Night Ops (Brad Cox) and Plainsman (Brad Cox).
- The 95th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-olds (entries taken Wednesday): Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch); Howling Time (Dale Romans); Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek); Texas Red Hot (Randy Morse); and Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek).
- The 78th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (GII) at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-old fillies (entries taken Wednesday): Famed (Brad Cox); Sandstone (Kenny McPeek); and Yuugiri (Rodolphe Brisset).
- The 1st running of the $200,000 Lively Shively at 6 ½ furlongs for 2-year-olds (entries taken Wednesday): Chattalot (Steve Asmussen); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); and Tejano Twist (Bret Calhoun).
- The 1st running of the $200,000 Fern Creek at 6 ½ furlongs for 2-year-old fillies (entries taken Wednesday): Bali Del Sol (Rusty Arnold); Matareya (Brad Cox); and Verylittlecents (Randy Morse).
TV SCHEDULE – Racing from Churchill Downs will air each race day on the Churchill Downs LIVE app. The app is available free of charge on streaming services such as Amazon, Apple TV and Roku. Most races also will be covered on the Fox Sports family of networks as part of “America’s Day at the Races.” Here is the updated TV schedule for racing this week:
- Friday: 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2
- Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Fox Sports 2
- Sunday, Nov. 21: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fox Sports 2 | 4-5:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Friday at Churchill Downs for a nine-race program that began at 1 p.m. There was a $98,311 jackpot carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 that spanned Races 4-9 and a $3,444 carryover in the Super Hi 5 in Race 9. … Top Falls City Stakes contenders Bonny South, Crazy Beautiful and Envoutante worked Friday at Churchill Downs prior to the featured 1 1/8-mile race on Thanksgiving Day. Bonny South breezed an easy half-mile in :49.20 under jockey Florent Geroux. Just prior to her move, Crazy Beautiful cruised five furlongs in 1:02.40 and Envoutante worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 outside of stablemate Oliviaofthedesert. … On May 3, 2012 on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, Zadina, trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, broke her maiden on turf at Churchill Downs to give owner Codee S. Guffey his first win as an owner. Eight years later in Friday’s second race at Churchill Downs, Guffey’s Rock Ridge Racing and Pitts-Blasi connected again with first-time starter Zawish, a 2-year-old Mshawish filly out of the Malibu Moon mare … you guessed it … Zadina. … The 2021 season finale of “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The show is streamed live online at www.espnlouisville.com. … For more information about the Fall Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.