Kentucky Derby hopeful Maxfield underwent successful orthopedic surgery by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Lexington, KY Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Wednesday to repair a non-displaced fracture of his right front condylar bone.
The injury was diagnosed by X-ray when discomfort was noticed walking back to his stall shortly after he completed a :49 half-mile morning training run at Keeneland, KY.
“They put two screws in the injury and it came together really well. It went as well as it possibly could,” said trainer Brendan Walsh.
“I think we’re in good shape, and he’s back (standing) now as well. I’ve had a few horses with similar injuries and the majority have come back without an issue.”
Walsh also suggested the colt will return to training following an undetermined recovery period at owner Godolphin’s Darley America Farm near Lexington. Post-race recovery and X-rays will determine the length of time Maxfield needs before he can resume training, Walsh continued, saying 60–90 days without exercise is standard. He credited Dr. Bramlage and his Keeneland veterinarians, Dr. Mark Cheney and Dr. Tammy Gillen, for their prompt diagnosis and the successful surgery.
“These things can always be worse,” said Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin USA. “We’re grateful we’ve got the horse we have, and we can overcome this and still have opportunity. The good news is everybody is going to be ok.”
The injury was first reported by Walsh. “He has a condylar fracture, right front,” texted the trainer early Wednesday morning.
The Street Sense colt has an undefeated 3-0-0 record with $442,762 in earnings. He accumulated 60 points toward a gate at the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.
This is Maxfield’s second sidelining injury. He won last year’s Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, but was scratched from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after suffering an ankle chip. He came to be regarded as a top three-year-old following his victory last month in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3).
Maxfield is among several defections this turbulent Derby year.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s two high-profile Derby trainees both have been withdrawn from consideration. Nadal suffered a condylar fracture and has been retired from racing. Charlatan was withdrawn from Derby possibility by Baffert last weekend with an unspecified ankle injury.
Wells Bayou, another promising three-year-old, has been rested from training for an estimated 90 days by trainer Brad Cox.