Girvin captures Louisiana Derby, heads to Kentucky Derby off back-to-back stakes wins

Apr 02, 2017 by James Scully/

Favored at 6-5 odds, Girvin did not disappoint comfortably prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. The Joe Sharp-trained colt moved to the top of the Leaderboard in the Kentucky Derby qualifier, increasing his total to 150 points, and regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. was up.

After easily capturing the February 25 Risen Star (G2), Girvin became the only current Kentucky Derby contender to post consecutive stakes wins this year while confirming his superiority on the local circuit.

Brad Grady owns the son of Tale of Ekati. A debut maiden winner at Fair Grounds in mid-December, Girvin is now unbeaten from three dirt attempts, sustaining his lone setback when finishing a close second in the February 4 Keith Gee Memorial on turf. The dark bay has earned $874,400 from four outings.

Girvin traveled wide on both turns after breaking from post 8, stalking the action about six lengths back through opening splits in :23.46 and :47. His stablemate, 98-1 longshot Hotfoot, fulfilled his role as pacesetter until checking out on the far turn.

Local Hero, the 9-2 fourth choice, advanced to take a clear lead rounding the bend, reaching the 6-furlong mark in 1:11.15 with a two-length advantage. However, Girvin was accelerating into contention and rallied boldly four wide off the far turn to overhaul his rival after straightening for home.

Girvin drove clear in midstretch and despite drifting towards the inside and switching back to the wrong lead late, he was never threatened completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.77.

Patch, the 4-1 second choice for Todd Pletcher off a Gulfstream maiden win, kicked on late for second, 1 ¾ lengths better than Local Hero, who edged 36-1 Hollywood Handsome by a nose for third.

Bred in Kentucky by Bob Austin and John Witte, Girvin was purchased for $130,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale and is out the Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon, dam of Grade 3 winner Cocked and Loaded.

(Hodges Photography/Amanda Hodges Weir)

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