Linda Rice Looks Forward with Hot Fudge, Returning Stakes Horses

Hot Fudge (inside)Susie Raisher

Conditioner Linda Rice reports that Garland of Roses victress Hot Fudge (Liam's Map) has come out of her first stakes victory 'feeling great' after taking the listed eight days removed from visiting the winner's circle in an optional claimer. She is unbeaten since her return from a near six-month layoff, and her 2023 campaign has seen the filly take home five wins in seven starts.

“That filly, we've had a few strange things happen with her when she was young, and then she had such a nice winter. We elected to give her this summer off, because I just felt like she needed it,” Rice explained. “She came back really well and of course we wheeled her back on short rest, but once they're older and more mature, it can work out.”

Rice added the next likely target for the daughter of Liam's Map is the $150,000 Interborough S., a seven-panel sprint for fillies and mares, set to run Jan. 20.

Freshwater and Arrogance Back in the Barn

A pair of noteworthy names recently resurfaced on the work tab for the trainer including GSW Joey Freshwater (Jimmy Creed) and SW & MGSP Arctic Arrogance (Frosted). The former posted his first work since failing to hit the board in the Salvatore M DeBunda Sprint S. back in August. The GIII Bay Shore S. winner covered a half-mile over the Belmont training track in :50.40 this past Thursday.

“Joey had three months off and he looks good,” said Rice. “He's fresh. He should be ready sometime in January, not really any target yet. Maybe we'll start him in a 'two-other-than' allowance and go from there. Baby steps.”

A presence to reckon with in the spring on New York's Road to the Kentucky Derby, Arctic Arrogance has not been seen since his fourth-place effort in the GII Wood Memorial in April. He'd previously made a name for himself with three-straight runner-up efforts in the GII Remsen, the listed Jerome, and the GIII Withers S.

The grey returned to the tab Sunday with a half-mile breeze in :52.60, but Rice admits it's going to be a slow process to her him back to the races.

“The breeze was good. He's on the fat side and was always hard to get weight off of, so he's heavy right now. It will take us a little while. We've just got to get him going.”

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