Girvin Remains On Target For Haskell Invitational

by | 07.13.2017 | 3:04pm
Rosie Napravnik, seen exercising 2017 Derby contender Girvin.

With less than three weeks remaining until Monmouth Park's marquee event, the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 30, another top 3-year-old has confirmed their next run will be at the Jersey Shore. Multiple graded stakes winner Girvin will head to the starting gate against another top notch field of runners in this year's golden anniversary of the Haskell.

Girvin took home both the Grade 2 Risen Star and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in late-running fashion at the Fair Grounds on his way to a run in the Kentucky Derby earlier this year. The son of Tale of Ekati out of Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon just missed to Irap in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 24.

“He arrived at Saratoga this morning,” said trainer Joe Sharp, who conditions the horse for Brad Grady. “We'll get a work or two into him up here prior to the Haskell and ship down a couple of days before the race. I'd like for him to get a look and feel for the track, maybe school in the paddock before the race just to get to know his surroundings.”

Girvin has already worked once since the Ohio Derby in preparation for the Haskell. The bullet came on July 9, when he went four furlongs in :47 1/5, fastest of the 22 horses that went the distance at Churchill Downs Training that day.

From six career starts, Girvin sports a record of 3-2-0 with nearly $1 million in earnings. The Kentucky bred is a winner at the mile and an eighth Haskell distance.

Along with Girvin, the likely contenders for the 50th renewal of the Haskell Invitational include:

Classic Empire – champion 2-year-old and winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and this year's Arkansas Derby. Classic Empire is conditioned by Mark Casse.

Battle of Midway – third in the Kentucky Derby, he captured the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita on June 24.

Irish War Cry– A New Jersey-bred owned by Amory L. Haskell's daughter Isabelle de Tomaso. The H. Graham Motion trainee was runner-up in the Belmont Stakes and won the Grade 2 Wood Memorial in April.

Timeline, Practical Joke – From the Chad Brown barn, Timeline is a perfect four-for-four and a winner at Monmouth after capturing the Grade 3 Pegasus last out, while Grade 1 winning Practical Joke won last year's Champagne Stakes and last out took the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont on July 8.

McCracken – most recent winner of the Matt Winn Stakes, this Ian Wilkes trainee is a multiple graded stakes winner.

American Anthem – Trained by Bob Baffert, he captured the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Baffert has won a record eight Haskells.

Hence– winner of the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on the road to his run in the Kentucky Derby. Most recently won the Grade 3 Iowa Derby on July 7.

Impressive Edge – multiple graded stakes placed Dale Romans trainee finished third in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby and the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes.

The Haskell Invitational will air live on NBC from 5 to 6 p.m. Admission that day is $8 Grandstand ($4 seniors) and $10 Clubhouse ($5 seniors). Select reserved seats remain and can be purchased by contacting 732-571-5563. All paid admissions will receive the commemorative Haskell hat, while supplies last.

The Haskell Invitational is a Breeders' Cup Win & You're In event with the victor earning an automatic berth to the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar on Nov. 4.

  • Ida Lee

    Darn it….Irish has to win this one ….. it’s the Haskell !!! He just has to win it ….but, and it’s a humongous “but”, I don’t want Classic, McCraken, Timeline, Girvin or any of the others (actually) to lose…the 3-year-olds I don’t love I never heard of … is indeed a major predicament….

    • Corey Black

      You really should seek help.

    • Jbumi

      You’ve got to do what I do – root for dead heats!!!!

      • Ida Lee

        You are so right….it’s not that I don’t want Irish to win the Haskell….I do !00%…but I like the field so much, I don’t want the others to lose…and for Dona Isabelle and New Jersey….who have supported Irish so much …. well, you see my predicament ..but any way you look at it, this Haskell is going to be a great one for the racing fans…

  • McGov

    Wow. Shaping up to be quite a race. Rosie looks great on a horse, as always !

  • Ida Lee

    Hey Corey….I saw your comment….so you come on a horse racing blog where people are just having fun and you add nothing to the conversation except an obnoxious comment about me ? Lighten up …. we’re not talking world peace or quantum physics here….yeah, I love this years crop of 3 year olds more than any other year…if that makes me crazy, OK I’m crazy…P.S. I also love Gunnevera and Patch this year ….. so kill me …

  • Mike Porcaro

    a press release that touts the Haskell without including the date of the Haskell… the PR agency!

    • louisville race fan

      read the first sentence “haskell on july 30”

    • David Juffet

      Typical huh?

  • brussellky

    The subsequent form of the LA 3YOs has not worked out too well and Girvin has never run even a moderately fast number. Hard to see him having much impact in this spot.

  • Michael Shea

    I would be very surprised if Practical Joke is in the Haskell. After finally being entered at his proper distance of a mile in the Dwyer, why would they bring him back three weeks later to run against the best three year olds in the country at a mile and an eighth? Accept the fact that he is a miler and they could have one of the best in the division.

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