Girvin Rallies to Haskell Victory
By Margaret Ransom
Brad Grady’s Girvin, who once was a leader in the sophomore division after winning two key preps in Louisiana before logging a dismal 13th-place finish in the May 6 Kentucky Derby (GI), returned to the winner’s circle in fine fashion on Sunday capturing the $1 million Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park in an impressive last-to-first performance in the 1 1/8-mile feature.
Under new jockey Robby Albarado, Girvin was content to sit in the back, well off the early pace of :23.93, :47.34, 1:11.25 and 1:36.65 set by the dueling duo of Battle of Midway and Timeline, with favored Irish War Cry chasing along the rail, about a length off the early pace.
As the front runners rounded the bend for home, Girvin took flight from the back of the pack and was picking off rivals with each sixteenth of a mile. First, it was Hence after a half-mile; then, it was a badly tiring Timeline and Battle of Midway; then, it was Practical Joke and, with a furlong left to run, only a rallying McCraken and Irish War Cry remained to get past.
Under a stiff ride from Albarado, while racing closer toward the center of the track, Girvin… (more)