Linda Rice

Max Player Preps for Belmont S.

GIII Wither S. hero Max Player (Honor Code) breezed six furlongs in 1:13.87 (1/2) Friday morning on the Belmont training track in preparation for the June 20 GI Belmont S. "He had a nice workout today. He went six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 on the training track and did it easily," said trainer Linda Rice. "We were happy with it. We'll give him two more workouts before the Belmont." A second-out graduate at Parx in December, the George Hall homebred came running late to take the nine-furlong Withers in February...

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New York Horsemen Soldier On Amid Pandemic

On Mar. 19, the New York Racing Association suspended racing for an undetermined period after a backstretch worker tested positive for COVID-19, which left New York horsemen scrambling to adjust and come up with Plan B for themselves, their horses and their staff. Nine days later--following the announcement that Aqueduct had been approved as a temporary hospital site--NYRA announced that the rest of the Aqueduct winter meet would be canceled and the Ozone Park oval would not host its traditional spring meet, headlined by the GII Wood Memorial S. "On...

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Rice, Franco, Repeat Aqueduct Winter Meet Titles

Trainer Linda Rice notched 40 wins for her second consecutive winter meet crown, while jockey Manny Franco posted 64 victories to win his third consecutive winter meet title at Aqueduct Racetrack. Drawing Away Stable bested all owners with 19 wins for the abbreviated winter meet that ran from Dec. 12 through Mar. 15. "It's exciting to win another title," said Rice of her title defense. "I was pleased to finally come away with a win last year and it's great to build on that success. I changed my business model...

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So….Who’s The Leading Freshman Sire of 2020: Linda Rice

Even if most racing is delayed, we're all hoping it will get underway sometime this spring or early summer, if for no other reason than so we can all find out the answer to our annual favorite question. We surveyed some top judges on who their leading first-crop sire is, and to give us some under-the-radar picks as well. LINDA RICE I am a big fan of Nyquist. He was a brilliant 2-year-old, winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Eclipse Award, and he carried that into his 3-year-old year,...

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Max Player Stays Busy

George Hall's Max Player (Honor Code), winner of the Feb. 12 GIII Withers S., worked seven furlongs in 1:27.20 (1/1) at Belmont Park last Wednesday. The sophomore had been expected to make his next start in the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial S. before racing was suspended in New York. "He worked really well," said trainer Linda Rice. "We had planned on shooting towards the Wood Memorial and he had been training really nicely into that race." Rice said the recent announcement moving the GI Kentucky Derby to Sept. 5...

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Wood Memorial Next Up for Max Player

George Hall's Max Player (Honor Code) exited his victory in Saturday's GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct in fine shape and will likely make his next appearance in the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial. Sent to post at odds of 5-1, Max Player was in tight and taking significant kickback into the first turn before jockey Dylan Davis angled him outside for smoother sailing. Settled wide in fifth, he grinded his way into contention through the final turn and found his best stride late to put away GII Remsen S. winner...

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Max Player Wears Down Shotski in the Withers

Max Player went from maiden winner to graded winner by outstaying his competition in Saturday's GIII Withers S. His victory was both the first black-type and graded for sire Honor Code (A.P. Indy), whose Lane's End barn mate Tonalist was also represented by his first graded winner Saturday in the form of GIII Forward Gal S. romper Tonalist's Shape. Awkward early but flying home late when second on debut going a mile at Parx Nov. 12, Max Player broke through in the slop by 4 1/4 lengths back in Bensalem...

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Shotski Takes Next Step Towards Derby in Withers

GII Remsen S. winner Shotski (Blame) will take his next step down the GI Kentucky Derby trail Saturday when he returns to Aqueduct for the GIII Withers S. Earning his diploma at second asking when switched from turf to dirt at Laurel Oct. 3, the bay was fourth in the Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs Oct. 27, but wired the field next out in the track-and-trip Remsen Dec. 7. "We know he likes the track, and we know he can get the distance," trainer Jeremiah O'Dwyer told the NYRA...

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Letter to the Editor: A Woman Among Men

It was about 9:15 a.m. on a chilly day at Belmont and as I headed down the aisle towards the back door of Barn 44 for what felt like the 50th time since arriving at 5:15 a.m., a hot walker stopped me in my tracks saying with a laugh, "You two started neck and neck earlier, but now she has 10 lengths on you." The woman he was referring to was top trainer Linda Rice and he couldn't have summed her up much better. A client once compared Rice to...

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