Girvin’s vic­tory puts him in Derby pic­ture

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - HORSE RACING / BASEBALL -

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.

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