LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2020) – Godolphin homebred Maxfield came into his seasonal bow carrying the burdens of high anticipation and lofty expectations upon his dark bay shoulders. After validating both with a one-length victory in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs May 23, the son of Street Sense took another step forward when he moved up into the fourth position on this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Three-Year-Old Poll.
The Matt Winn Stakes, which offered points on a scale of 50-20-10-5 toward the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby scheduled for September 5, marked the first start for Maxfield since his statement-making triumph in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last October. The Brendan Walsh-trainee was slated to be among the favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November but had to miss the race due to a minor issue in his right front.
In his first outing since that setback, Maxfield rallied in deep stretch to beat Ny Traffic in the Matt Winn, an effort that earned him 228 points from voters this week and moved him up five spots in the poll.
“The most impressive thing about this horse is how he handles everything so well mentally,” Walsh told the Churchill Downs publicity team. “He’s such a cool horse and nothing really bothers him. Along with his athletic ability, his mental state is a really strong one-two punch.”
Unbeaten Nadal, winner of the second division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on May 2, continues to hold the top position in the Three-Year-Old poll with 19 first-place votes and 321 points. Fellow Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law (12 first-place votes, 302 points) remains in the second spot followed by Charlatan (2 first-place votes, 269 points).
Authentic, one of three Bob Baffert-trainees in the top 10, drops one spot to fifth with 1 first-place vote and 226 points. King Guillermo (140 points) ranks sixth followed by Honor A. P. (114), Sole Volante (68), Ete Indien (67) and Basin (34).
There is a new face in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll as the Chad Brown-trained Raging Bull (FR) enters the fray in the tenth position on the heels of his victory in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita Park May 25. Previously unranked, Raging Bull earned 46 points from voters after notching his first win since taking the 2018 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.
Champion distaffer Midnight Bisou still holds the lead position with 23 first-place votes and 322 points while Mucho Gusto (257 points) remains stalwart in the second spot. By My Standards (1 first-place vote, 235 points) ranks third followed by Zulu Alpha (1 first-place vote, 157 points) and multiple Grade 1-winner Ce Ce (141 points). Maximum Security (7 first-place votes, 127 points) is sixth with Tom’s d’Etat (1 first-place vote, 115 points) seventh. Champion Monomoy Girl (100 points) holds in the eighth position followed by Grade 1-winner Whitmore (50) and Raging Bull completing the top 10.
Tiz the Law (23 points) was not ranked in the top 10 but did receive one first-place vote.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in both the Top 3-Year-Old Poll and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup in November.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at: