04/19/2017 12:06PM

Kentucky Derby pedigree analysis: Girvin

Coady Photography
Girvin is by Tale of Ekati, who won the Wood Memorial and was fourth in the Kentucky Derby.


Tale of Ekati-Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon

(Bred in Kentucky by Bob Austin and John White; $130,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale by Grand Oaks)

With the Kentucky Derby prep season concluded, several contenders are now at the mercy of the points list, with their hopes of running in the spring classic depending on the status of others above them in the standings. Such is not the case for Girvin, the Kentucky Derby points leader. The Louisiana Derby and Risen Star winner, he secured his position by outrunning some distance limitations suggested by his pedigree.

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His sire, Tale of Ekati, by Tale of the Cat, was a graded-stakes-winning juvenile who went on to be a factor during the 2008 Kentucky Derby prep season, winning the Wood Memorial before finishing a creditable fourth in the Derby. He cut back to shorter distances later in the season and earned a second Grade 1 victory when he crossed the line second by a nose to Harlem Rocker in the Cigar Mile and was elevated to the win via disqualification.

With breeder Charles Fipke his biggest supporter, Tale of Ekati has produced a handful of graded-stakes performers, including Tale of Verve, second to American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness Stakes. He is also the sire of Grade 2 winner Ekati’s Phaeton, Grade 3 winner Verve’s Tale, and graded-stakes-placed Tale of S’avall, Forest Blue, and A Place to Shine. Most of those have excelled at shorter distances.

Girvin is out of the unraced Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon, whose first foal was Cocked and Loaded, the winner of the Tremont Stakes sprinting and third in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes later in his 2-year-old season. He finished third in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes, a sprint, the following year. This is the extended family of Grade 1-winning sprinter Yes It’s True; Silver Max, the winner of the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile in a year when it was contested on Polytrack due to a weather-related surface switch; and Canadian champion Kiss a Native.

Malibu Moon, the sire of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, is generally regarded as a source of stamina. He is the broodmare sire of champion Stellar Wind.

– Nicole Russo