Next sets track record in Churchill’s Isaac Murphy S.

Not This Time’s brilliant marathoner Next posted yet another fantastic performance May 1 at Churchill Downs in the $200,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon S., rolling home by 11 ¼-lengths in the 1 ½-mile contest.

The 6-year-old gray was making his first appearance since winning the Greenwood Cup (G3) by a whopping 25 lengths in September, yet was primed once again for a top-class effort.

Next came out of the gate well and as the field settled into stride, was second behind Classic Causeway. The pacesetter opened up a five-length lead halfway through the race, when Next began to cut into the margin. He was on even terms with a half-mile to run and took the lead shortly thereafter. With little effort, he opened up at will and stopped the timer in 2:27.93 on a fast track.

In addition to setting a track record for the distance, Next earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105, his sixth triple-digit figure in his last seven starts and tied for his lifetime-best.

“I had him nice and tight and we were ready to go,” said trainer Doug Cowans. “He’s amazing. He gets in that rhythm and he’s double tough to beat. Today he probably ran the best he ever has. He’ll go next in the Suburban (June 8 at Saratoga).”

Next is owned by Michael Foster and is 10-0-1 in 20 starts with earnings of $1,035,861. He was bred in Kentucky by Silverton Hill Farm LLC.

Next is one of 33 stakes winners and 14 graded winners for Not This Time. He is also one of five millionaires by the Taylor Made stallion.

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