Updated on 03/11/2013 10:48AM

Ive Struck a Nerve hurt, off Kentucky Derby trail

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Ive Struck a Nerve posted a 135-1 upset in winning the Risen Star.

NEW ORLEANS – Ive Struck a Nerve, the 135-1 winner of the Risen Star Stakes last month at Fair Grounds, suffered an ankle injury in a Saturday morning workout and will miss the Triple Crown series, trainer Keith Desormeaux said.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Desormeaux. “It doesn’t look like it’s career-threatening and he’s not in peril. It’s the kind of injury that happens quite a bit in this game. The good news is we know we still have a nice horse.”

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Ive Struck a Nerve is owned by the Big Chief Racing LLC of Matt Bryant, who earlier this week sold a minority interest in the bay colt to Boston businessman Paul Braverman. The colt was among the leaders in the new Kentucky Derby points system and was virtually assured a spot in the starting gate for the Churchill Downs classic on May 4.

In his first work since the Feb. 23 Risen Star, Ive Struck a Nerve breezed a half-mile over a fast Fair Grounds track Saturday in 48.60 seconds. Jockey Jimmy Graham, who rode him in the Risen Star, was aboard. “About 20 minutes after he came back to the barn he was a little off,” said Desormeaux.

Desormeaux said later Saturday that the colt likely would be sent to the Rood and Riddle equine clinic Monday for further evaluation by Dr. Larry Bramlage. The injury was to a sesamoid in the left front.

A Kentucky-bred by Yankee Gentleman, Ive Struck a Nerve was scheduled to have two more Saturday workouts before running in what was scheduled to be his final Kentucky Derby prep, the March 30 Louisiana Derby.

“The dream is over,” said Desormeaux, who has never been remotely close to having a Kentucky Derby horse and whose younger brother, jockey Kent Desormeaux, has won the Derby three times. “But we’ll be back in the hunt again someday.”

Desormeaux said when he delivered the bad news to Bryant, “of course he was very disappointed. But he took it pretty well. That’s the way this game can be. C’est la vie.”

Ive Struck a Nerve closed as a 50-1 shot last weekend in the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Prior to his nose victory and 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the Risen Star, he had won 1 of 8 starts, with the lone win coming in a maiden sprint at Fair Grounds in November. His prior high Beyer was a 74.

– additional reporting by Marcus Hersh