Maxfield third in G1 Santa Anita Handicap
Maxfield produced a battling effort to come home third on his first attempt at a mile and a quarter in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita, USA, on Saturday, 6 March.
The Street Sense colt, who headed out to California with a perfect record of five wins for trainer Brendan Walsh including the 2019 G1 Breeders’ Futurity, broke on terms and soon raced in a clear fifth of the eight runners.
Maxfield made a significant move around the field passing the three-furlong marker and disputed a close third entering the straight as Express Train kicked on into a narrow lead.
The Godolphin runner rallied inside the final furlong for Florent Geroux but could not challenge Express Train or Idol, who flew home to get up near the line, going down by two lengths in total.
Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell said: “This is the first time in Maxfield’s career that he has been in a dogfight – he has had easy victories before – and Brendan feels that he will really come on for this.
“He was stepping up to a mile and a quarter and shipping out to California but having said all that, if he wasn’t undefeated, you would have said it was a good performance to finish third in a G1. There are more positives to take away than the negative of him losing his unbeaten record.
“He could have stayed in New Orleans and run against the same horses again but we are trying to improve and learn some things. He grew up a little bit today and the fact that he was still fighting at the end proves it wasn’t a bad effort at all.”