Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

PDF Download Past Performances
Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Feb 23 2013 Risen Star Fair Grounds II 1 1/16 M 1 REPLAY
Jan 19 2013 Lecomte Fair Grounds III 1M 70 Y 4 REPLAY


J. Keith Desormeaux


Keith Desormeaux is from Lafayette Louisiana and is the brother of two time Kentucky Derby winning champion jockey Kent Desormeaux. He began his career in horse racing as an assistant trainer to Charlie Hadry on the Maryland circuit before going out on his own. He has traditionally raced in California, Louisiana and Texas where he has been one of the top trainers at Lone Star Park. Some of his additional stable stars include Mr. Miesque, Tour Guide and Gangbuster.

Matthew Bryan


Matt Bryan also races under the name of Big Chief Racing and has been involved in racing syndicates prior to purchasing several two year olds on his own, one of those being Ive Struck A Nerve. He remembers watching Seattle Slew win the 1978 Kentucky Derby on television and reading all the coverage of the Triple Crown winner and thinking how awesome horse racing was. On a family trip he was introduced to live racing at a racetrack in Tijuana Mexico and realized seeing it in person was an amazing experience. While attending the University Of Oklahoma he would make trips to Remington Park and found he also liked to handicap the horses. He and his wife attended the Kentucky Derby in 2006 and witnessed the victory by Barbaro. Matt is CEO and President of M G Bryan Equipment Co and M W Rental Equipment Co.


Yankee Gentleman--Ranaway, by Cryptoclearance

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Ordinarily, a son of speed influence Yankee Gentleman would be expected to have distance limitations, but Ive Struck a Nerve is eligible to get some help from his dam's side.

Yankee Gentleman spent most of his career in sprints, with his biggest victory coming in the six-furlong Pirate's Bounty at Del Mar. The Storm Cat stallion, who  successfully carried his speed 1 1/16 miles, has sired sharp sprinters like E Z's Gentleman; Washington Bridge, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa; Golden Yank and Yankee Fourtune, who stayed 1 1/8 miles; and sprinter/miler Tidal Pool, who tired late in the 2010 Kentucky Oaks but just lasted for third.

Ive Struck a Nerve is out of Ranaway, a winning full sister to the long-winded turf horse Cryptoway. A tough, if generally low-level, campaigner who won nine of 64 starts, Cryptoway scored over as far as 1 3/8 miles. Earlier in his career, Cryptoway finished third in a small turf stakes at Calder.

Ranaway is by $3.3 million-earner Cryptoclearance, the 1987 Florida Derby winner who ran well in all three legs of that year's Triple Crown -- fourth in the Derby, third in the Preakness and second in the Belmont. Cryptoclearance later became a top older horse with victories in such 1 1/4-mile contests as the Widener and Hawthorne Gold Cup (twice).

Cryptoclearance passed on his staying capacity to some of his leading progeny, including champion Victory Gallop, hero of the 1998 Belmont; Canadian champion Cryptocloser; and Volponi, who upset the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic.

As a broodmare sire, however, Cryptoclearance isn't consistently ensuring classic stamina: while some of his daughters have produced thoroughgoing marathoners like Mr. Nedawi and Delosvientos, others are responsible for miler types like Elloluv and sprinters like Keyed Entry and Justin Phillip (the last two are out of the same mare).

Ranaway is out of the unraced Slewpy mare Slewway, making her a half-sister to major winners K. J.'s Appeal and Slew Valley. K. J.'s Appeal set a 1 1/8-mile track record in the 1998 Meadowlands Cup, and turf runner Slew Valley, winner of the 1 1/8-mile King Edward in 2004, twice placed in the 1 1/2-mile Sword Dancer.

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