In a Triple Crown prep season that has been full of chaos, Brad Grady's Girvin will hope to supply a bit of stability April 1 in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The Tale of Ekati colt has played his part in the chaos. Last time out the Joe Sharp trainee upset the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at odds of 8-1, but will have to play the favorite in Fair Grounds' final prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Girvin tipped his hand a bit in his previous start—albeit on grass—with a second-place run in the Keith Gee Memorial Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 4 after breaking his maiden sprinting on the New Orleans main track by a head in December.
The only other graded winner from the eight remaining 3-year-olds in the field is W. S. Farish and Lorea Jean Kilroy's Guest Suite, who won the Jan. 21 LeComte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds but never seriously threatened in a fourth-place Risen Star run. Also returning from the Risen Star is e Five Racing Thoroughbreds' Local Hero, who opened up a six-length lead last time out and held to finish fourth.
Beyond those three is a group that doesn't exude class, but could bring upside.
The most visually impressive last-out winner is Monaco, an Uncle Mo colt who crushed a Tampa Bay Downs maiden special weight field by 12 lengths Feb. 12 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher also has another last-out maiden winner entered in Patch, a Union Rags colt who broke his maiden in his second start by 1 3/4 lengths going a mile at Gulfstream Park.
Senior Investment has made a habit of finding the wire first since his maiden win in December at Fair Grounds. The Discreetly Mine colt trained by Ken McPeek came back to finish first in a Fair Grounds allowance, but was disqualified to seventh, then won an Oaklawn Park allowance in his next start Feb. 18 by three lengths.