Trainer Linda Rice is part of a long line of horsemen and horsewomen, and grew up breaking and training young horses for father Clyde Rice. She was an exercise rider and assistant trainer for years before taking out her trainer's license in 1987 at the age of 23. She became the first woman to saddle a Grade 1 winner at Keeneland when Tenski won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. A longtime New York staple, Rice once saddled six straight winners at Saratoga, where she became the first woman to win a training title. She has since picked up back-to-back titles at Aqueduct and has expanded her operation to Penn National. To date, her horses have earned well over $40 million on the track.
Who's your favorite Thoroughbred who never won Horse of the Year (both one you worked with and one you didn't)?
City Zip – He won all three 2-year-old stakes at Saratoga in 2000 for me. He dead heated with Yonaguska in the Hopeful. He was a $9,000 weanling that beat a $2 million 2-year-old. He was disqualified in the Futurity with Jose Santos, which cost him the two year old honors of the year.
Afleet Alex – He impressed me when he was bumped, stumbled badly at the quarter pole and went on to win the Preakness. No ordinary horse, incredible effort!
What's the last thing you Googled?
Cincinnati Bengals Football Team.
I was stuck in the Cincinnati Airport for three hours in route to LaGuardia after the Fasig-Tipton sale. One of the football players helped me with my luggage–chivalry is not dead!
What's at the top of your “bucket list”?
Winning the Kentucky Derby & the Travers
What's your proudest moment to date?
When I got my accounts receivable down to an all-time low of $50k
To have a barn full of stakes horses
Best advice you ever got?
To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.
What are you up to when you're not at the track?
I'm either shopping horse auctions or getting my nails done.
What gadget or app could you not live without?
Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?
Neither–I think we're overexposed!
Biggest pet peeve?
When my horse is well beaten for $25,000 and my clients want to run him back for $35,000
What's your favorite part of the day at the racetrack and why?
Six a.m.–The barn is up and running, the phone hasn't started ringing, there is peace, quiet, and an excitement about today's races.
If you could change one thing about racing, what would it be?
That it has a better marketing plan like Major League Sports and it is followed by millions daily
If you were roasted, what would people give you a hard time about?
My driving! I'm always in a hurry
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.