Godolphin’s homebred Grade 1 winner Maxfield completed his major preparation for next week’s $750,000 Clark (G1) with a five-furlong move at Churchill Downs in 1:01.20 on Nov. 19.
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 (G2) in June and the $400,000 Alysheba (G2) on the undercard of the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Entries for the 1 1/8-miles 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’ graded stakes winner Midnight Bourbon who has been training consistently at Churchill Downs following his eventful runner-up effort to Hot Rod Charlie in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) where he was forced very wide into the final turn.