This Cal-bred wasted no time winning on debut, getting the nod sprinting in a maiden special weight on Del Mar's synthetic track at the tail end of the 2012 meet. But being a son of Unusual Heat, Gervinho seemed destined to compete on the turf.
He did just that for the remainder of his career while being a regular presence in stakes events across the state.
A horse who liked coming from off the pace, Gervinho rallied to win his stakes debut in the one-mile Zuma Beach during the autumn at Santa Anita. That set him up for a try in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He did not win that day, but Gervinho managed to be in contention for a good part of the race before finishing fifth. Still, he was not disgraced in defeat.
Back in action just before the summer of 2013, the Carla Gaines trainee got his sophomore campaign underway with a good second in the Silky Sullivan Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Reunited with regular rider Rafael Bejarano (Victor Espinoza rode him in the Silky Sullivan), Gervinho moved back to Del Mar and came from off the pace to take the Oceanside Stakes at nine furlongs. He came back towards the end of the session to add a second in the Grade II Del Mar Derby to his resume, giving him his first placing against graded stakes company.
Sent to Santa Anita's autumn meeting, Gervinho returned two months later, placing third in the Grade II Twilight Derby on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard. Next came a fourth in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, where he got passed just before the wire.
But one more win awaited Gervinho. Appearing on the opening day program at Santa Anita, Gervinho returned to the winner's circle after rallying from way behind in the Grade II Sir Beaufort Stakes, which clinched the Champion California-bred Three-Year-Old Male honor for him.
Now a stallion, Gervinho has already sired winners all over the country, with his runners taking victories in no less than three states: California, Indiana and West Virginia. Among his early winners are After Midnight, Flying Business and Time Heist, and he has produced winners both on dirt and of course turf.
A Thoroughbred who enjoyed competing and always gave an effort when he raced, Gervinho clearly received his turf prowess from Unusual Heat. And it served him well.