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Godolphin's Maxfield enters Triple Crown picture after Churchill Downs victory

Maxfield entered the US Triple Crown picture with a convincing success in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

The unbeaten Godolphin colt finished a length clear of Ny Traffic to land the $150,000 (£120,000) contest after an extended spell on the sidelines and could be aimed at the Belmont Stakes, which this year will be the first leg of the Triple Crown on June 20. 

As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, Maxfield also picked up 50 qualifying points for the second leg of the Triple Crown. With a total of 60, he rose to ninth in the standings and seems guaranteed a starting spot in the race.

"We'll absolutely consider the Belmont," trainer Brendan Walsh told Bloodhorse. "It looks like the mile and a quarter, which will be the furthest [of the Triple Crown races], will not be a problem for him."

Walsh said he will monitor how the son of Street Sense comes out of his impressive three-year-old debut before deciding if Maxfield will head to Belmont. If he does, he could rate as one of the favourites.

His two-year-old campaign was brought to a premature end after a dazzling success in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity in October and he has had to recover from ankle surgery. 

"He's amazing," added Walsh. "Ones like him don't come around too often. He showed he's as good or maybe even better than he was last year. It was the performance we wanted, and hopefully we can move forward from here. He makes us look good."

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