Trainer Linda Rice checked all the boxes in 2019:
- Leading trainer (by earnings) in all New York-bred races – $4,234,018.
- Leading trainer (wins) at the Aqueduct winter meeting – 45.
- Graded stakes winner – Nicodemus.
- New York-bred stakes winners – Newly Minted, Holiday Disguise, Blindwillie McTell, Bavaro, Startwithsilver.
You get the picture.
Rice continued a run that has made her a model of consistency and earned a seventh New York-bred trainer title.
“She’s a very good trainer . . . she does a tremendous job,” said Jose Lezcano, Rice’s go-to jockey, after bringing home her 2,000th win in the Rego Stakes at Aqueduct Jan. 12 of this year. “She has won several meets on the toughest circuit.”
Rice’s leading lady in 2019 was Newly Minted, a New York-bred who won 5 of 8 starts, including three state-bred stakes, and earned $419,613. Her workhorse was American Power, with four wins and four seconds in 14 starts. Rice had 11 stakes wins in 84 starts, including eight New York-bred stakes.
In New York-bred races, Rice had 363 starts with 76 wins, 66 seconds and 52 thirds, a 53 percent in-the-money rate. She ranked third in wins and number of starts.
Rice won 145 races in 660 starts overall in 2019 – the sixth time she has won at least 100 races – with $7,258,064 in earnings, her best year ever.
Rice previously was named champion New York-bred trainer in 2009, 2010, 2013-15 and 2017. The Aqueduct training title was her sixth overall, coming almost 10 years after she became the only woman to win the title at Saratoga Race Course.
Written by Paul Halloran for thisishorseracing.com