J Boys Echo, Girvin Complete Final Derby Workouts
Two Horses, Two Tracks
By Dick Downey
On a very cloudy Kentucky morning, J Boys Echo was the sole Kentucky Derby contender to work at Churchill Downs on Saturday. About 75 miles east of here, Girvin breezed at Keeneland.
Overnight rain fell on Louisville, but conditions were much worse north of the Ohio River. After the renovation break, the track at Churchill Downs was in pristine condition for the 8:30 session reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses.
Under exercise rider Tammy Fox, J Boys Echo came out after the break for trainer Dale Romans. He worked in company on the inside and just in front of his workmate, maintaining a short differential throughout. After breaking off at the half-mile pole, the work took him to midway through the first turn, five furlongs in 1:01.00, breezing, per Churchill Downs head clocker John Nichols. Splits were 11.40, 23.20, 35.60 and 48.20 at the wire. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven in 1:28.20.
TVG analyst Caton bredar tweeted, "J Boys Echo who usually isn't much work horse, this seemed a pretty nice move."
At Keeneland, Girvin last jogged early this week on the synthetic training track. A workout set for Churchill Downs last weekend was canceled and rescheduled to Monday at Keeneland. That work was canceled, too, for reasons that were not explained by trainer Joe Sharp at the time. Later, Sharp disclosed that Girvin has been swimming at a facility in Lexington and getting treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, which increases oxygen intake, while trying to overcome a quarter crack.
The Louisiana Derby winner was sent out to the main track at Keeneland on Saturday for his first workout since April 15. According to Keeneland clocker Billy Pettingill, Girvin was timed going five furlongs in 59.60. His internal fractions were12.00, 24.00, 36.00 and 48.00; and he was out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven in 1:28.60.