2017 Kentucky Derby Horse Profile for Girvin

GirvinGirvin works at Churchill Downs April 28 for the Kentucky Derby (Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Girvin Career Statistics

Starts: 4

Wins: 3

Places: 1 `

Shows: 0

Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings: $849,800

Owner: Brad Grady

Trainer: Joe Sharp

Jockey: Mike Smith

Pedigree: Tale of Ekati – Catch The Moon, by Malibu Moon

Recent Finish: 1st, Louisiana Derby, G2 (4/1/17)

Notable Wins:  Louisiana Derby and Risen Star, G2 (2/25/17)


Girvin works towards the Kentucky Derby April 28 at Churchill Downs
(Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Girvin History

Girvin won his career debut in December at Fair Grounds before a runner-up finish on the grass going 1 mile in the Keith Gee Memorial Overnight Stakes in his second start and his 3-year-old debut. Trainer Joe Sharp then targeted the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds for the dark bay Tale of Ekati colt. That race was the first of the Kentucky Derby Championship series with the winner receiving 50 points and securing a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. He closed from off the pace in the Risen Star and showed off his huge stride to power clear in a dominant two-length victory.

He left the starting gate in the April 1 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby as the 8-5 favorite, and he rewarded his betting backers with a victory. Girvin tracked in fourth position to the far turn before taking command in mid-stretch under jockey Brian Hernandez and drawing away to a 2-length win. His huge, overpowering stride again wore down his opponents. That win tripled his Kentucky Derby qualifying points to 150, and he would finish as the points leader on the Road to the Roses.

He prepped at Churchill Downs with a bullet 4 furlong work on April 15. He breezed in 47.80 seconds which was the fasted of 30 that day.

Some key speed stats for Girvin:

  • Final 3/8ths time in Louisiana Derby – :37.79 seconds
  • Career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure in Risen Star
  • Solid 6.38 seconds in final sixteenth mile of Risen Star
  • Blistering opening quarter mile of :21.87 seconds in winning debut

Horses that are finishing strongly at the end of their prep races are more likely to handle the distance of the Kentucky Derby (1 ¼ miles) than horses that are tiring at the end of their prep races. Thus, many handicappers believe one of the key factors to emphasize is how fast each contender ran the last three-eighths of a mile in their final prep race. Horses that are finishing strongly at the end of their prep races are more likely to handle the distance of the Kentucky Derby than horses that are tiring at the end of their prep races.

Girvin ran a final 3/8 mile in 37.79 seconds in his final prep at the Louisiana Derby. Generally, a final three-eighths time of less than 38 seconds is considered good, while anything over 39 seconds is slow. Of course, these times can be affected by a variety of factors, including the speed of the racetrack and the early pace of the race (it’s easier to finish fast if you’ve gone very slow early on). However, the fact remains that each of the last five Kentucky Derby winners – and 15 of the last 20 – ran the last three-eighths of their final Derby prep race in less than 38 seconds. Ten Derby horses, including Girvin fit that speed figure profile.

Pedigree: Girvin is from the third crop of two-time Grade 1 winner Tale of Ekati, who won the Wood Memorial Stakes in 2008 and finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Tale of Verve, from Tale of Ekati’s first crop, finished second in the 2015 Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes. Tale of Ekati, by Tale of the Cat, has sired 10 stakes winners, including five graded or group stakes winners, from 92 winners through Feb. 27.

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