SIMPLY WICKED CHARGES TO VICTORY IN THE LAFAYETTE STAKES
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2021
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SIMPLY WICKED CHARGES TO VICTORY IN THE $60,000 LAFAYETTE STAKES
JOCKEY RY EIKLEBERRY SHIPS IN FOR THE WINNING MOUNT
OPELOUSAS, LA –Richard L. Davis’s Simply Wicked was up to the task in the $60,000 Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night. The race for 3-year-olds, formerly restricted to state-bred runners, returned to the stakes calendar after being absent for a couple of seasons.
Simply Wicked was away sharply, but quickly taken in hand by jockey Ry Eikleberry to settle behind a fast early pace in the Lafayette Stakes. Yukio, Fiesty Fist and Dancin With Angels battled through a hot opening quarter-mile raced in 21.85 seconds. Favored Don’t Wait Up rushed into contention after a sluggish beginning along with Big Chopper, while Simply Wicked settled back in sixth position. As the field moved into the turn, Big Chopper moved with a wide bid to challenge outside of rivals, while Simply Wicked continued in a tracking position. After a half-mile in 45.30 seconds, Big Chopper had assumed a narrow lead over Fiesty Fist and Yukio, with Simply Wicked making a four-wide bid.
As the field entered the stretch, Simply Wicked produced a burst of speed and was up to wrestle command from Big Chopper, with Vodka Gimlet and Order Up commencing bids from the back of the pack. The Robertino Diodoro trainee opened the lead up with a furlong to go and held off the charge of Vodka Gimlet to win by 1-1/2 lengths. Vodka Gimlet was along for second, two lengths clear of third-place Order Up. The final running time for the six furlongs was 1:11.67 seconds over a track rated fast.
Simply Wicked earned $36,000 for the victory, his fourth from 11 career starts. The winner’s share of the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to $139,010.
The 3-year-old colt was bred in Kentucky by Connie Brown. Sired by Wicked Strong, the dark bay or brown runner is out of the Colonel John mare Simply Sensational.
Simply Wicked returned $12 to win for his backers, $4.60 to place and $3.40 to show. Vodka Gimlet returned $4 to place and $2.60 to show. Order Up, part of an entry with Fiesty Fist, paid $4 to show.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday with a 5:30pm first post. The Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred season runs on a Wednesday thru Saturday schedule until August 27.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.