As the Racing and Bloodstock Manager for prominent horse owner Ron Winchell, one of David Fiske's most important roles is to find a path to the Kentucky Derby for the stable's top 3-year-olds. On Saturday, promising sophomores Wicked Indeed and Tight Ten hope to cement their status in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
Both runners are homebred sons of prolific stallion Tapit and are trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen. They will be making their 2019 debuts in Saturday's mile-and-70-yard event, which is the first local qualifying race on Churchill Downs' Road To The Kentucky Derby.
Third behind fellow Lecomte entrant Tackett last out, Wicked Indeed broke his maiden at first asking over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track in November where he was a nose in front of Chase the Ghost, who also is entered in Saturday's race.
“We're getting everyone sorted out,” Fiske said. “This race a little ambitious for Wicked Indeed and I thought he ran a little dull last time. He didn't run the way we wanted him to and I think he's better than that. He and Tight Ten have worked together in the morning on occasions. It's hard to separate them sometimes. I don't know what his deal was last time he ran but we thought we would give him another chance and if he runs the way we except him too, hooray and if not we'll find another course for him.”
Wicked Indeed possesses strong bloodlines on the dam side and is a full brother to Grade II winners Just Wicked and My Miss Lilly.
While Wicked Indeed is diving into some deeper waters, Tight Ten is taking a drop in class from the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where he was a troubled ninth behind Game Winner. Also a victor in his career debut, Tight Ten was second in both the Grade II Saratoga Special Stakes and the Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs last season.
“His experience in the Breeders' Cup wasn't the best,” Fiske said. “He bounced off the rail going into the first turn. I'm not sure how much it affected his performance but if you're riding a motorcycle at 30 miles per hour and a bee stings you and hits your hand it hurts. He hasn't run since November, but he's back to training pretty well.”
Tight Ten is the fourth foal out of the Distorted Humor broodmare Devils Humor whose dam is two-time Grade I winner Fleet Renee. He will be guided by regular rider Ricardo Santana, Jr. while Brian Hernandez, Jr. has the call on Wicked Indeed.
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