If you went simply by the odds on the tote board, there was no way for Ive Struck a Nerve could win the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Saturday afternoon. But they don't determine horse races simply on the odds. Sent to the gate at 135/1, Ive Struck a Nerve made a late move down the middle of the track to edge Code West in a photo finish and, in the process, punched his ticket to the 2013 Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
The Risen Star began innocently enough with the favorite, Normandy Invasion, breaking awkwardly from the gate and racing last after the first quarter of a mile. Proud Strike quickly took the lead from his rail position, while Code West and Agent ran a length or two off the lead. Lecomte Stakes winner Oxbow sat off the lead in the Risen Star, reversing his gate-to-wire running style from his last race.
Code West moved to the lead as the field entered the far turn, but was soon challenged by Oxbow at the top of the stretch. However, those two colts failed to put away the rest of their rivals and an mad dash of horses all descended on the leaders in the final quarter mile. Oxbow was the first to give way, fading to fourth at the wire. Code West battled back along the rail, but ultimately couldn't hold off Ive Struck a Nerve at the wire.
For his victory in the Risen Star, Ive Stuck a Nerve earns 50 points toward a spot in the starting gate in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Ive Struck a Nerve is a 3-year-old colt by Yankee Gentleman out of a Cryptoclearance mare (Ranaway), trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by James Graham. His victory in the Risen Star was just the second win of his career.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Risen Star Stakes:
|8-Ive Struck a Nerve||$272.40||$110.60||$42.40|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|