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Girvin Heads 2017 Ohio Derby Probables

The field for Saturday’s $500,000 2017 Ohio Derby (G3) at JACK Thistledown Racino is beginning to take shape, headed by multiple graded stakes winner and Kentucky Derby contender Girvin. The 1 1/8-mile race, now in its 83rd year, runs as a graded event for the first time since 2013.


Winner of the Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2), Girvin will make his sixth career start in the Ohio Derby, and trainer Joe Sharp expects a big effort. The son of Tale of Ekati turned in his final work last Saturday, breezing a bullet five furlongs at Churchill Downs in a minute flat, fastest of 20 that day.


“He’s right on course,” said Sharp. “We’ve had him on a steady work pattern and he had a great work Saturday. He’s really, really doing well. We’re really looking forward to the rest of his 3-year-old season.”


Asked about any lingering effects of the Kentucky Derby, in which Girvin twice ran into traffic trouble and finished 13th, Sharp said, “He’s coming into (Saturday’s) race fantastic. He had a tough trip in the (Kentucky) Derby, but with 20 horses you know going in that you can get into trouble. I was actually more nervous before the Louisiana Derby, because we were expected to win.”


Girvin has been coming from off the pace but, Sharp noted, he also has won on the lead, sprinting. “So far it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of speed in the race, but he can be anywhere he needs to be.”


Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was aboard Girvin for the Kentucky Derby and will ride Saturday as well.


Girvin will arrive at Thistledown Wednesday or Thursday to get in a gallop over the track.


Ohio Derby long on the radar for Maccabee Farm’s Hinton


The Ohio Derby has been the plan for Hinton for several weeks, said trainer Tommy Drury, Jr. By Candy Ride (ARG), Hinton has three wins in four starts and comes into the race off a win in an optional allowance route taken off the turf at Belterra Park May 11. Hinton is owned by Steve Belford’s Maccabee Farm LLC.


“Mr. Belford is from Ohio, and we’ve had this race on our radar all spring,” Drury said. “(Hinton) is two for two around two turns and he’s improving each start. Sometimes horses that run in the Kentucky Derby get banged around in that race. He’s going to be fresher and he’s going in the right direction, so if we’re going to take a shot this is the time.”


Hinton broke his maiden on debut at Belterra in August sprinting on the dirt. In his next two races, both on Turfway Park’s Polytrack, he was third going six furlongs and then first at a mile. Asked about the turf entry at Belterra last out, Drury said, “We weren’t specifically looking for a grass race. Turf races usually go there, so we handicapped the weather and knew there was a good chance the race would come off the turf and scratch down, and that’s how it worked out. The horse he beat in that race came back to win, too, so it was better than it might look on paper.”


Regular jockey John McKee has the mount on Hinton, who typically comes from off the pace. “I don’t think he has to be anywhere,” Drury said. “John can place him where he wants when the doors open.”


Hinton will arrive at Thistledown either two days out or the day before the race, a decision that will determine whether he takes a turn over the track.


“Horses from other tracks seem to run well at Thistledown, and I know it’s a nice, fair surface,” Drury said. “We’ll make a decision about when to ship in the next couple of days.”


Others on the early probable list for the Ohio Derby are Kentucky Derby contenders Irap (trainer Doug O’Neill) and Untrapped (Steve Asmussen), Sorry Erik (Keith Desmoreaux) and Vibe (Robert Hess Jr.).


Entries for the Ohio Derby will be drawn Wednesday. First post Saturday is 1:40 p.m.

Source: JACK Thistledown Racino


Hinton  |  Vibe  |  Girvin  |  Irap  |  Sorry Erik  |  Untrapped  |  Thistledown  |  Ohio Derby  |  Ohio Derby (2017)
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