January 28, 2022

Girvin installed as Ohio Derby favorite against talented field

Girvin captures the Louisiana Derby (G2) under Brian Hernandez Jr. at Fair Grounds on Saturday, April 1, 2017 (c) Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography

A talented group of nine sophomores has been entered to go 1 1/8 miles on Saturday at Thistledown in the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3), and Louisiana Derby (G2) hero Girvin has been assigned 2-1 morning-line favoritism.

The Joe Sharp trainee opened his career in December at Fair Grounds, breaking his maiden by a head. The Kentucky-bred son of Tale of Ekati then made his stakes, turf and three-year-old bow on February 4 in the Keith Gee Memorial, where he finished a game second.

Girvin returned to Fair Grounds’ main track for the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and scored a two-length triumph prior to taking the Louisiana Derby by 1 1/4 lengths on April 1. The dark bay colt topped the Kentucky Derby (G1) Leaderboard but, like many in this year’s edition, didn’t have the best of trips and finished 13th in the Run for the Roses last out on May 6.

Mike Smith took the mount for the Kentucky Derby and remains in the saddle in this spot.

Fast and Accurate had a three-race win streak snapped when 17th in the Kentucky Derby, and ran fourth while attempting a return to the winner’s circle last out on the turf in the Arlington Classic (G3). The Mike Maker-trained son of Hansen showed up in the entry box on Wednesday with local jockey T. D. Houghton listed to ride, and drew 8-1 morning-line odds.

“He’s training fine, so we’re taking a shot,” Maker said.

Irap is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line following his 18th-place effort in the Kentucky Derby. Before that the Doug O’Neill charge broke his maiden in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. The Tiznow colt reunites with jockey Julien Leparoux here.

Untrapped will attempt to earn his first stakes victory in this spot after finishing 12th in the Run for the Roses most recently. The Steve Asmussen-trained son of Trappe Shot took the Oaklawn Park route to the Kentucky Derby, finishing third in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and sixth in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call on the morning-line 9-2 third favorite.

Loooch Racing Stables has three horses running in the Ohio Derby, and two will be saddled by top regional trainer Jeff Radosevich.

Game Over is two-for-two in his career and makes his stakes bow in this spot under jockey Jacob Radosevich. Fellow stakes debuter Talk Less, who broke his maiden by five lengths at Mahoning Valley and captured an allowance at Thistledown in his past two, gets jockey Luis Colon in the irons.

“You never know until you try,” Jeff Radosevich said of Game Over. “He got in traffic trouble in his last race but still came back to win. Sometimes a horse will get stopped or bothered and they’ll give up, but he didn’t. He’s also stabled here and has worked over the track.”

The trainer added about Talk Less, “He’s been over the track and he likes the track. Racing at home gives us an advantage.”

Also carrying the Loooch Racing silks in the Ohio Derby will be Vibe, who captured an allowance at Churchill Downs last out and will go for trainer Bob Hess Jr. with jockey Ricardo Feliciano in this spot.

Completing the Ohio Derby field are stakes debuter Hinton, who is 3-0-1 from four career starts, and former claimer Sorry Erik.