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Maxfield Out for Redemption in Woodward

Maxfield is one of six runners entered in the Grade I Woodward at Belmont, which is one of two massive races on Saturday’s card.

The Woodward has been won by some of the best in the game, so the likes of Maxfield, Code of Honor, Art Collector, and Forza Di Oro are hoping to add their names to the list.

Essential Quality with Luis Saez up wins the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes as Hot Rod Charlie finishes second
Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Horse racing odds are available for the Woodward, which has Maxfield at the top of the list.

Walsh Seeking Grade I Success

Trainer Brandan Walsh desperately wants Maxfield to win a Grade I race this season. It would be a huge asset to his stallion profile, and after going close in the Whitney Stakes last start, he’s on the cusp.

“It’s absolutely important, especially with a horse like him, who we always thought would get better as he gets older,” Walsh told The Paulick Report. “For his stallion career and everything, it would be very important to get a Grade 1 win in him this year.”

Maxfield won only Grade I win in the Breeders’ Futurity in 2019, but has since added placings in the Whitney and Santa Anita Handicap.

Prior to his last start defeat, the 4-year-old son of Street Sense had won seven of his first eight starts. It’s an impressive record, and there’s no Knicks Go to beat this time.

He should also appreciate reverting back to a one-turn track. He has a big stride, so going around multiple turns can get him off balance.

“I think it suits him if anything,” Walsh said. “He should love the sweeping turns here. He seems to run his turns very well, which is probably the strongest part of his races. A big horse like him with a big stride on him, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be to his advantage more than anything.”

Maxfield is currently the 7-5 favorite to win the Woodward, which is a stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup Classic next month.

Code of Honor to Launch Claim

Code of Honor doesn’t know how to run a bad race and has been a good bet over his career.

The 5-year-old has had 17 starts for seven wins and six placings. His worst run came when finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but given the strength of the opposition, we’re not surprised.

Code of Honor enters the Woodward having won the Philip H. Iselin at Monmouth Park last start. We have seen stronger fields, but the win should give him confidence.

“I would have started him off at Saratoga but they only had seven-furlong and mile-and-an-eighth races,” McGaughey said. “So, when I saw the Iselin, I thought that would be a place to get a good, solid race in him in a graded stakes. I thought it was a good prep race and the most logical place to run him.”

Class will always be with the son of Noble Mission after winning the Travers Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup in consecutive starts in 2019. Those wins were top quality, especially beating the likes of Tacitus.

His form has tapered off since, but we wouldn’t rule out the class act. The sportsbook has him at 5-2, so there is respect with bookmakers.

Art Collector Back to his Best

Art Collector can be a tough horse to follow, but the 4-year-old is back to his best after consecutive victories.

Trained by William Mott, the son of Bernardini went three runs without doing much in the Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Kelly’s Landing, but his last two starts have been impressive.

He won the Alydar before taking out the Charles Town Classic in August. He hasn’t raced since, but the Blue Grass Stakes winner has the class to overcome this field.

Luis Saez takes the ride, and bettors get value odds. Betting online markets have Art Collector at 3-1, which is a fair price given his top-end ability.

Should he win the Woodward, he would come into calculations for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so there is plenty on the line for connections.

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