Linda Rice

Max Player Works at Churchill for Derby

Max Player (Honor Code), third in both the GI Belmont S. and GI Runhappy Travers S. behind expected GI Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law (Constitution), worked in company Monday morning at Churchill Downs as he continued his preparations for the Sept. 5 Derby. Under jockey Florent Geroux, Max Player completed a five-eighths work in :59.60 during the 15-minute window set aside exclusively for Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks contenders. Off at approximately 7:30 a.m., Max Player began the move two lengths behind his stablemate, Allege (Uncle Mo), and finished...

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Max Player Moved to Asmussen Barn

George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds's GI Kentucky Derby contender Max Player (Honor Code) has been moved from trainer Linda Rice to the Steve Asmussen barn, Rice confirmed via Twitter Tuesday. "Max Player has been moved to the Asmussen barn in order to prepare for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs," Rice said. "We are disappointed to see him go, but we wish George Hall and SportBLX the best of luck!" Winner of the GIII Withers S. this February at Aqueduct, Max Player finished third behind Tiz the Law (Constitution) off...

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Tiz the Law in Good Order After Travers Romp, On to Derby

Sackatoga Stable's GI Runhappy Travers S. winner Tiz the Law (Constitution) was bright-eyed the morning after his dominant 5 1/2-length victory in Saratoga's marquee race, for which he received a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure. Shortly after training concluded for the morning, trainer Barclay Tagg was at his barn on the Saratoga backstretch standing next to the garland of carnations that had been draped around the now four-time Grade I winner's neck Saturday. Tagg said his star 3-year-old colt was in good order. "He looks fine," Tagg told the NYRA...

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Tiz the Law Draws Post Six in Travers

GI Belmont S. winner Tiz the Law (Constitution) looks to take his next step down this unconventional GI Kentucky Derby trail in Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga. The even-money morning-line favorite will break from post six with regular rider Manny Franco in the irons. "I think he's matured enough now that outside or inside is not going to bother him too much," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "I'd prefer that he's on the outside just because you have less chance of getting in trouble. Not that you can't, but...

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Max Player Tunes Up for Runhappy Travers

Max Player (Honor Code), who ran on nicely to complete the trifecta in the GI Belmont S. June 20, turned in his final serious work Monday morning ahead of a rematch with Tiz the Law (Constitution) in Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga. Owned by George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds, Max Player breezed five furlongs in 1:01.55 over the Belmont training track. "We worked him in company head and head with another horse and they went five-eighths in 1:01.2. It was just a maintenance breeze," said trainer Linda Rice....

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Rice Celebrates 'Life-Changing' Upgrade for $7,500 Mare

For Gail Rice, the way luck and judgement play out with Thoroughbreds is sooner a matter of faith than mere fate. "God tries to make you make the right decisions," she declares. But then she gives a delighted, self-deprecating laugh and adds: "Apparently for once I listened properly!" Yes she did. Because you would have had to strain your ears pretty hard to catch the hint, the time Rice saw a young New York-bred mare by Freud in the back ring at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton February Sale. Scribbling Sarah had...

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Tradition Remains on Unusual Saratoga Opening Day

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--Just like always, the bell in the winner's circle was rung 17 minutes before every race at the Spa Thursday afternoon. Of course. Exactly 17 minutes. Even on the most unusual of opening days at Saratoga Race Course, tradition was served. It is Saratoga after all. Phil Linguiti did the honors, yanking the strap that moved the clapper to produce the sound. Linguiti, a former jockey and longtime white cap in the clubhouse, is a familiar figure at Saratoga. Since this 152nd season is racing in Saratoga Springs...

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Tiz the Law Breezes Towards, Max Player Aiming For Runhappy Travers

Tiz the Law (Constitution) continued his preparations for the $1-million GI Runhappy Travers S. Wednesday morning, working five furlongs in a solid 1:01.10 over a Belmont main track labeled as fast. It was the New York-bred's second breeze since winning the GI Belmont S. June 20. He went a maintenance half-mile in :50.06 July 1. "He looked perfect," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "He's got a lot of energy. He wouldn't blow out a candle." Tiz the Law is perfect in three starts this season, having won the GIII Holy Bull...

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Runhappy Travers Up Next for Tiz the Law

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution) exited his win in Saturday's GI Belmont S. in fine shape and will now be pointed towards the Aug. 8 GI Runhappy Travers S. "He came out of the race great," said Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg. "He ate up and then he came out and grazed for an hour. His legs are good, his attitude and energy are good." Mapping out the next few days for the Belmont winner, Tagg said, "He'll walk for three days and we'll graze him every...

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Not Even a Pandemic Can Push Rice Off Course

ELMONT, N.Y.--Linda Rice is as meticulous as they come in preparing her horses. The conditioner knows every detail about each and every horse in her care and maps out very specific plans for them. But, as organized as Rice is, she is equally as adaptable, as every horse trainer must be, and those qualities have served her well as she prepares Max Player (Honor Code) for a step up to the big leagues in an unconventional edition of the GI Belmont S. Saturday. Max Player's unique journey to the top...

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Eight Post It 'Tiz' for Belmont Stakes

ELMONT, NY -- Led by imposing GI Curlin Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law (Constitution), a field of 10 has been drawn for Saturday's shortened 152nd renewal of the $1-million GI Belmont S. Tiz the Law, also an authoritative winner of last term's GI Champagne S. at Belmont Park, will break from post eight under regular rider Manny Franco in the first leg of the reshuffled Triple Crown going 1 1/8 miles. The 6-5 morning-line favorite is trained by Barclay Tagg for Sackatoga Stable. Tagg and Jack Knowlton's outfit, of...

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Max Player Tunes Up for Belmont

Last-out GIII Withers S. scorer Max Player (Honor Code) breezed Saturday morning at Belmont, getting six furlongs in 1:12.25 under work rider Oscar Gomez. It was the sophomore's last work before the GI Belmont S., which is scheduled for June 20. Owned by George E. Hall, who won the 2011 Belmont with Ruler On Ice (Roman Ruler), Max Player is trained by Linda Rice, who last had a runner in the Belmont in 2003 with Supervisor (Skip Trial). "He went the first three-eighths in :36.3 and I instructed Oscar to...

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