Parker Waters / Eclipse Sportswire
Undefeated Maxfield will look to go 6-for-6 in Saturday's $400,000, Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.
The 4-year-old Street Sense colt will ship west from New Orleans with regular rider Florent Geroux, according to trainer Brendan Walsh.
In his last start, Maxfield came from last place to win the Mineshaft (G3) by 3 1/4 lengths.
"The [Santa Anita Handicap] has been our radar for a while," said Walsh. "Coming back from the Mineshaft in three weeks, we just wanted to make sure everything was in good shape. He worked great yesterday and came out of the Mineshaft great, so to travel out there and go a mile and a quarter, it's another stepping stone."
Maxfield earned his first stakes victory in the 2019 Breeders Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, then the injuries began. He missed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile because of an ankle injury and remained away from the track until winning the 2020 Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs in May. He then missed the rescheduled Triple Crown with another injury and was out until December, when he won the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds.
"He's a 4-year-old and he’s still a lightly raced horse. We want to get a good body of racing into him," Walsh said. "This a good next step for him, a good way to move forward. It’s nice that he’s keeps going and can compete at the highest levels. [Horses] teach us to not get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s a Grade 1 and we hope we run well."
Walsh said Maxfield will ship to California Monday after training hours at Fair Grounds and should arrive at Santa Anita in the afternoon.
"He's a good traveling horse," he added. "We just want to keep him ticking over out there, let him get a feel for the place, and try to have him ready on Saturday."