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Girvin, at left, outlasts McCraken and Practical Joke to win the $1 million Haskell Inv. (G1) - Equiphoto
Girvin gives his all to win $1 million Haskell Inv. (G1)
RSS Feeds Sunday, July 30, 2017 | Posted to: Tale Of Ekati
Girvin’s incredible winning performance Sunday in the $1 million Haskell Inv. (G1) gave Tale of Ekati his first North American Grade 1 winner as well as becoming racing’s newest millionaire.

Girvin is now a three-time graded stakes winner this year, taking the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star S. (G2) this Spring at Fair Grounds. The Brad Grady-owned 3-year-old colt has now banked $1,574,400 and is 4-2-0 in seven starts.

The Haskell drew a stellar field of seven, including the likes of McCraken, Practical Joke, Irish War Cry, Timeline and Battle of Midway. Through the first half-mile, Timeline held a narrow margin over Battle of Midway, with Girvin in last about a dozen lengths from the leaders.

Girvin, with McCraken to his outside, began to make up ground quickly on the final turn, but Girvin got stuck behind the frontrunners while McCraken emerged with the lead and the momentum at the top of the stretch.

With a furlong to run, Girvin, now with Practical Joke alongside, began to cut into McCraken’s two-length lead and caught him in the final stride to win by a nose, with Practical Joke just a half-length back in third.

"McCraken got the jump on me and kept me inside, but my horse never lost momentum, so I wasn't concerned," winning rider Robby Albarado said. "He's really coming into his own right now. I worked him last week up at the Spa (Saratoga) and he was sharp. He showed that today. When he got in the clear in the stretch he just kept coming and coming. I was so impressed with what he did today and I think he's just going to get better and better."

Bred by Bob Austin and John Witte, Girvin's Haskell triumph earned him an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" program.

Girvin was purchased for $130,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale and is out of the Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon, making him a half-brother to Iroquois S. (G3) winner Cocked and Loaded.