Risen Star Winner Girvin Will Face Eight Rivals In Louisiana Derby

Brad Grady's lightly raced Girvin headlines next Saturday's Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby in which he will face off against eight other sophomores in the 1 1/8 miles event on the main track at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The Louisiana Derby is the final Fair Grounds prep for the Grade I Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands and offers 170 qualifying points toward that May 6 event on a 100-40-20-10 basis.

Trained by Joe Sharp, Girvin exits a facile two-length win in last month's Grade II Risen Star Stakes in what was just his third career start. The son of Tale of Ekati had previously broken his maiden on the dirt in December before finishing second in the Keith Gee Memorial over the Stall-Wilson turf course in a designed prep for the Risen Star. Brian Hernandez, Jr., who has been aboard for all three of Girvin's lifetime starts, retains the call from post eight.

Two of the horses who followed Girvin home in the Risen Star appear to be the main threats to the likely favorite in the Louisiana Derby. William Farish and Lora Jean Kilroy's Guest Suite turned in a powerful effort to win the Grade III Lecomte Stakes in January over the Fair Grounds main track before settling for fourth behind Girvin five weeks later in the Risen Star. Robby Albarado has the return call on the son of Quality Road for trainer Neil Howard from post six. E Five Racing Thoroughbreds' Steve Asmussen-trained Local Hero impressed in an easy maiden win in his two-turn debut in January before stepping up to finish third in the Risen Star after setting the early tempo. Florent Geroux rides the Hard Spun colt from post three.

Trainer Todd Pletcher entered a pair of Florida-based maiden winners who will hope to punch a late ticket to the Kentucky Derby with success in the Louisiana Derby. Calumet Farm's Patch broke his maiden at second asking last month in a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park after finishing a rallying second going six furlongs in his January debut over the same surface. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the mount on the Union Rags colt from the rail. Derrick Smith, Repole Stable, Michael Tabor, and Mrs. John Magnier's Monaco was sent to Tampa Bay Downs to break his maiden by a widening 12 lengths in his third career start in February and returns with the addition of blinkers for his first try in stakes company. Rajiv Maragh rides the son of Uncle Mo from post five.

Kenny McPeek sends out Fern Circle Stables' Senior Investment in his stakes debut off three consecutive races in which he has crossed the wire first. After breaking his maiden locally in late December, the son of Discreetly Mine was disqualified from a local win against first-level allowance company in January before clearing that condition at Oaklawn last month. Channing Hill, who rode Senior Investment to his win in Hot Springs, has the return call from post four.

Trainer Dallas Stewart has been known to send out improving types late in the prep season with some success in years past, and will attempt to do the same with Mark Stanley's Hollywood Handsome. A maiden winner in the mud two starts back, the son of Tapizar rallied too late in his first try against winners, falling three-quarters of a length short against allowance company in February. Francisco Torres retains the mount from post two.

The field is completed by Big Chief Racing's Keith Desormeaux-trained Sorry Erik (Kent Desormeaux, post seven), seventh in last month's Risen Star, and Brad Grady's Joe Sharp-trained Hotfoot (James Graham, post nine).

The post Risen Star Winner Girvin Will Face Eight Rivals In Louisiana Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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