Conditions were less than ideal at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans on Saturday, with earlier rains and temperatures in the 50's. Six stakes races were contested on Louisiana Derby Preview Day, including the main event, the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (G3), the major local prep for the Louisiana Derby and worth 50 points as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. A field of 12 went to post in this 1 1/16 mile main track feature, with Remsen (G2) runner-up Normandy Invasion sent off as the 3-2 favorite over 9-2 second choice Oxbow, winner of the Lecomte (G3), and 5-1 third choice Proud Strike, off his maiden win last out.
Proud Strike and 7-1 Code West battled for the early lead through fractions of 23.92 and 48.34 while stalked by Oxbow and 9-1 Mylute. On the far turn, Oxbow moved up to gain a short lead through 3/4 in 1:12.74, holding onto the lead to the 1/8 pole. 135-1 Ive Struck a Nerve, last early, came out 6 wide into the stretch, while Code West came through on the inside, and the pair hit the line together. The photo determined that Ive Strike a Nerve prevailed by a nose over Code West in 1:44.52. It was 1/2 a length back to late-running 11-2 fourth choice Palace Malice, who nosed out Oxbow for third money.