Trainer Linda Rice has been suspended five days and fined for a total of $2,500 by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) for the circumstances that led to the scratching of Littlefirefighter (Into Mischief) and For Honor (To Honor and Serve) from a $25,000 claiming race at Aqueduct Jan. 27. As first reported by the Daily Racing Form, Rice said she scratched For Honor to avoid a positive drug test after being treated with medication days before, while Littlefirefighter was scratched due to owner Iris Smith’s preference to not run in a claiming race.
The official rulings posted on the NYSGC website stated that Rice’s “failure to tend to business in a proper manner” led to the scratch of For Honor and a $500 fine, while the trainer’s refusal to run Littlefirefighter led to a $2,000 fine and a 10-day suspension. The latter penalty was reduced to five days after Rice waived her right of appeal.
Rice, who was issued a $500 fine due to a scratch-related incident in November 2015, is also being investigated by the NYSGC for allegations that she paid officials in the racing office at the New York Racing Association in exchange for information that could help to give her a competitive advantage.
Rice’s current suspension is scheduled from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25.