Grade 2 Risen Star upsetter Ive Struck a Nerve will miss the Triple Crown series after being sidelined with an ankle injury suffered during a breeze at Fair Grounds on Saturday. The Keith Desormeaux trainee was readying for his next expected start in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby at the New Orleans track on March 30.
Ive Struck a Nerve posted a half-mile breeze in :48 2/5 just before 9 a.m. (CST) with jockey James Graham aboard but showed signs of discomfort shortly after returning to trainer Keith Desormeaux's barn to cool out.
"It was a beautiful work, the track was great, he came back great, James Graham loved the work, the time was legit and, as a matter of fact, it was above average," Desormeaux explained when he met with the media Saturday afternoon.
"He cooled out for about 20 minutes, walked fine, went out to get his bath and was normal. As soon as he was done with his bath we could see that he was a little off in his left-front ankle.
"We X-rayed it and it looks like he's got a fracture of a sesamoid. Not shattered. It is a serious injury but the prognosis is very favorable for a return to racing. But it's going to be a while, maybe six months."
Ive Struck a Nerve was returning to the track on Saturday in his first move since the Risen Star. Previously, the Kentucky-bred bay clocked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 on February 16.
"He's going to Kentucky to Rood & Riddle to pay a visit to Dr. (Larry) Bramlage," Desormeaux said. "He's going to overlook the X-rays, maybe take some more, and then decide the best course of action."
Ive Struck a Nerve burst upon the Triple Crown scene with a 135-1 upset nose win over Code West in the Risen Star on February 23. Prior to that, the Yankee Gentleman colt was fourth by 13 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 LeComte at Fair Grounds while making his sophomore debut on January 19.
A minority interest in the colt was recently sold to Paul Braverman. His majority owner is still Big Chief Racing.
"It's disappointing, but it would only be bad if the horse's life was in peril or if he was in severe pain," Desormeaux remarked. "I've dealt with this for 20 years; I've just never had it happen to a graded stakes winner. It's disappointing but we're a long way from being suicidal.
"The owner's very optimistic, we have other horses in the barn and we love the game. This horse will be well taken care of and he doesn't owe us anything. He's given us thrills beyond expectations so how can we be disappointed, really?"