Kentucky Derby prospect Maxfield out two months after surgery

November 18, 2019 02:40pm

Maxfield, among the early favorites for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his ankle and will receive 60 days off before aiming to qualify for the May 2, 2020, race at Churchill Downs.

Owner and breeder Godolphin announced the news Monday on the heels of the Street Sense colt bypassing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for what was originally diagnosed as a foot bruise.

The renowned Dr. Larry Bramlage discovered what Godolphin called a 
"mildly displaced" chip, and Bramlage performed the operation at Kentucky’s Rood & Riddline Equine Hospital.

“While it was obviously disappointing to miss the Breeders’ Cup, the welfare of the horse comes first and we brought him home for a full evaluation with Dr. Bramlage,” said Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin’s U.S. operations. “We will give the horse all the time he needs before resuming what we hope to be an exciting season for him next year.”

Maxfield will rejoin trainer Brendan Walsh’s string at Palm Meadows after the two months.

Overlooked on debut as a 10-1 shot, Maxfield made a wide, visually impressive rally to break his maiden Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs. He did the same when pulling away by 5 1/2 lengths in the Oct. 5 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland.

Maxfield then headed to Santa Anita Park for the Juvenile, billed as a “Big 3” matchup with Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings. While Maxfield defected, the other two missed the board, opening up the Derby picture heading into the new year.

According to VSiN's Ron Flatter, Maxfield was the Derby's 12-1 early third choice at William Hill U.S. as of Monday behind only Independence Hall (8-1) and Tiz the Law (10-1).


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