2017 Kentucky Derby: Girvin Pedigree Profile

March 10, 2017 06:05am

Girvin captured the first 50-point 2017 Kentucky Derby Qualifying Race with a commanding two-length victory in the Risen Star Stakes.   


He benefited from a rail trip, relaxing in mid-pack during the Grade 2 contest. After skirting the far corner, Girvin and jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. shifted to the outside and passed the tired pace setter Local Hero. Untrapped gave a belated, halfhearted chase to capture second while the rest were bobbing up and down, going nowhere fast. Girvin’s final time for the 1 1/16 mile race was 1:43.08, the fastest Risen Star Stakes time since El Padrino 1:42.96 in 2012.  


Girvin (Tale of Ekati - Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon) was bred by Bob Austin and John Witte. As a yearling, Girvin passed through the Keeneland September Yearling Sale with a $140,000 reserve, but there were no takers. A month later, was snapped up at the Fasig-Tipton October Sale for $130,000. Girvin is owned by Brad Grady and trained by Joe Sharp.



Tale of Ekati Grivin sireTale of Ekati (Tale of the Cat - Silence Beauty (JPN), by Sunday Silence) was a precocious youngster. In four starts as a two-year-old, the grandson of Storm Cat won the Belmont Futurity Stakes (G2), placed second in the Sanford Stakes (G2) and was fourth over the sloppy Monmouth track in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

As a three and four-year-old, Tale of Ekati matured into a top miler. Although he won the Wood Memorial at 1 1/8 miles, it was the only time he won, or even placed beyond a mile. Girvin’s sire had full campaigns at two and three. He competed three times as a four-year-old, but clearly, wasn’t the same horse, finishing off the board in all three starts. The Canadian-bred retired with a 15-5-1-0 ($1,182,992) record. He retired to Darby Dan Farm for an initial stud fee of $15,000.


In 2014, Tale of Ekati’s first crop hit the track. In only four crops to race, Tale of Ekati has sired three graded stakes winners and 20 stakes earners in the U.S. The majority are sprinter/milers. Two have been successful at 1 1/8 miles. I expect that Tale of Ekati will be a solid sprint/miler type of stallion with some progeny handling 1 1/8 miles in the right circumstances. Winner beyond 1 1/8 miles will be possible, but not commonplace.    


Female Family

Girvin is the second foal out of a young graded stakes producer. His distaff line is strongly speed oriented and has Girvin has close inbreeding to a little-known, but classy, tough sprinter.


Girvin’s dam Catch the Moon (Malibu Moon - Catch My Fancy, by Yes It's True) was the first foal produced by her dam. The daughter of Malibu Moon was unraced, and only two of her siblings of racing age made it to the track. Both won, but neither own blacktype.


Catch the Moon hit a home run with her first foal, the very precocious Cocked and Loaded (Colonel John).  The dark bay colt burst upon the racing scene winning his early April debut at Keeneland and the Tremont Stakes at Belmont in his second start. The brilliant colt won three of six starts as a two-year-old, including and the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill. Cocked and Loaded also placed in the Bay Shore (G3) as a three-year-old and the sprinter recently captured an Allowance race at Laurel Park.


Catch the Moon’s dam Catch My Fancy (Yes It's True - Walk Away Rene, by Gold Alert) captured her first two starts, one of which was the Barretts Debutante Stakes for California-bred fillies. Her form didn’t hold as a three-year-old, but she did capture the six-furlong Fairfield Stakes. 


Catch My Fancy is the sole blacktype earner out of her dam Walk Away Rene.  She has 3S x 2D inbreeding to the hardy multiple stakes winning sprinter Monique Rene (Prince of Ascot). Catch My Fancy’s sire, Yes It’s True is a grandson of Monique Rene and was bred to a daughter of the mare.


Monique Rene is Girvin’s fourth dam. The hardy mare was a staple on the Louisiana racing circuit, cycling between Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs and now defunct Jefferson Downs. Monique Rene started 45 times and enjoyed having her photo taken in the winner’s circle 29 times, 15 of them stakes races. She was second or third eight times. Monique Rene competed at the state-bred level as a sprinter against fillies and colts.

Girvin Pedigree profile 



Malibu Moon Girvin damsireMalibu Moon (A.P. Indy - Macoumba, by Mr. Prospector) is an example of what might have been. MALIBU MOON, a son of A.P. Indy out of the French Group 1 winner Macoumba, was a very precocious youngster, which is rare for offspring of A.P. Indy.  The dark bay colt raced only twice. He placed second in his debut in late April of his two-year-old season. A month later he beat maidens going five furlongs on the dirt at Hollywood Park. Unfortunately, Malibu Moon’s promising career was cut short due to a slab fracture of his right knee. 

Malibu Moon is a top-ten ranked sire by earnings. He’s sired a Champion and 38 stakes winners, including 2013 Kentucky Derby hero Orb. Malibu Moon is a young broodmare sire. His daughters have yielded 21 stakes winners, including Stellar Wind, By the Moon, and My Conquestadory, all Grade 1 winners. His daughter’s offspring have won up to 1 1/8 miles, but, given the proper breeding, it is only a matter of time until their babies win at classic distances. 


Girvin’s second damsire Yes Its True was a sprint specialist between six and seven furlongs. His offspring are best as sprinter/milers and include 2015 Champion Sprinter La Verdad and Grade 1 winning miler Proud Accolade. His daughter’s offspring are generally sprinter-miler types, although two have won stakes at 1 1/8 miles. 



Girvin’s pedigree indicates that 1 1/8 miles could be at the top of his scope.


A photo was unavailable for a conformation analysis. However, I’ve observed that Girvin is an average-sized colt. He has good leg extension and really stretches out when in full flight. He relaxed well for Brian Hernandez and responded through the stretch when asked. It appeared that Girvin bore out slightly in the stretch if the Risen Star. 


In the last nine years, four colts pulled off the Risen Star/Louisiana Derby double. Of the four, only last year’s winner placed in the Kentucky Derby. Girven has the right running style, and at this time of year, the three-year-olds improve seemingly overnight. Before making predictions, let’s see how Girvin handles the step up in the Louisiana Derby on April 1.


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Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

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