Girvin’s victory puts him in Derby picture
The favorites, for the most part, fizzled in Saturday’s Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Girvin, making his third career start and his first in a graded race, sizzled.
Sent off at 8-1 odds in the 11-horse field and trained by Joe Sharp, Girvin broke from the inside post and saved ground nearly all the way under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., en route to his upset result.
Local Hero set fractions of :23.70 and :47.02 under Florent Geroux and led by 6 at one point in the 1 1/16th-mile race. Hernandez, meanwhile, had Girvin hugging the rail in fifth while 3-2 race favorite Mo Town stalked in second with Untrapped, ridden by fourtime defending Oaklawn Park jockey champion Ricardo Santana, Jr., looming just behind.
Girvin angled out at the head of the stretch to begin his run at Local Hero, and he hit the wire in 1:43.08 over a track rated fast.
Girvin earned 50 qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, vaulting to the top of the qualifying list.
Untrapped, second-place finisher in the Lecompte Stakes last month, finished 2 lengths back for trainer Steve Asmussen.
But Guest Suite, who won the Lecomte by 1 ¼ lengths over Untrapped, came home fourth behind Local Hero, who faded to third. Grade II winner Mo Town had no response in the lane and ended up fifth, just getting his nose down over Shareholder Value.