Maxfield signs off in Clark as Mystic Guide takes another step towards return
Two of Godolphin’s flagbearers in North America head in different directions this week, with Maxfield looking to end his career with G1 glory in the Clark Stakes and Mystic Guide stepping up his training at Fair Grounds.
Maxfield returns to Churchill Downs for the Clark Stakes having powered to dominant G2 wins earlier in the season at the home of the Kentucky Derby in both the Alysheba and Stephen Foster Stakes.
The 2019 Breeders’ Futurity victor will be hoping to annex a second career G1 in Friday’s race before standing alongside the recently retired Essential Quality at Jonabell Farm.
“We will certainly all miss Maxfield around the barn,” said his trainer Brendan Walsh. “This horse just cruises over this racetrack – he simply loves it at Churchill. He is doing everything great leading into this race and we’ll be ready to go come Friday.”
Mystic Guide, a sensational winner of the G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline in March, cleared another significant hurdle on his comeback from surgery as he trained on the track at Fair Grounds over the weekend.
“We are really excited about getting Mystic Guide back,” reported trainer Michael Stidham. “He spent a month with Johnny Burke at Keeneland, just doing light stuff, and now we have him back on the track. He is really healthy, happy and has freshened up. He had a little gallop on Sunday morning and the whole barn is excited about having him back.
“In a perfect world, we could potentially get a good prep into him and maybe think about going out to Dubai again. Everything has to fall into place and he would have to come back with a big race that would make us think that he is ready to go back over there. It will depend on what he is showing us in the mornings and when we get him back to the races here.”
Racing at Fair Grounds returns on Friday, with multiple Graded Stakes winners Alms and Pixelate both lining up in Stakes contests on the opening weekend. Several Godolphin contenders also feature among the early nominations for Graded contests at Aqueduct’s Thanksgiving meeting.