Trainer Linda Rice dominates Saturday’s stake at Aqueduct
By Matt Shifman
The $100,000 Correction Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday drew a field of six fillies and mares and four of them come from the barn of Linda Rice. That should come as no surprise since Rice has been dominating the Big A winter meet with 39 winners in 54 days of racing.
At the current Aqueduct meeting, Rice has won with 26% of her runners while 61% of them have hit the board. Remember, she is the only woman ever to win the Saratoga trainer title and the only person not named Todd Pletcher or Chad Brown to do so in the last 10 years.
Among her four entries in the Correction, Rice has the 8-5 morning line favorite in Sower who was second in her last start in the Interborough.
“She’s been training very well coming out of her last race,” said Rice. “We’re looking for her to improve, and her last two breezes coming into this race were very strong.”
Startwithsilver, a 6-year-old New York-bred mare, is 6-1 on the morning line. She has four wins from six starts at the Big A and four wins from nine attempts at the six-furlong distance.
“We’re hoping she can regain the previous form she showed us last year,” explained Rice. “Our thinking is to give her one more shot here and depending on how she runs either continue on with her campaign or let her retire and move into the breeding shed.”
Rice’s other two runners are 3-1 Sounds Delicious and Honor Way who is 8-1.
“Both are coming into this race well and we’re looking for each to perform well,” added Rice. “Sounds Delicious worked well in her last breeze in preparation for this, and we’re hoping Honor Way can get some class relief shipping from Laurel [Park] in a Grade 3 in her last start.”
The biggest challenge to the Rice quartet comes from trainer Eddie Barker’s Yorkiepoo Princess. The 5-year-old mare has $460,000 in earnings from her 21 starts. With two wins from her last four starts, Yorkiepoo Princess heads into the Correction as the 2-1 second choice.
“She’s been doing very well,” said Barker. “She’s been training well and she’s starting to look like her old self,” said Barker. “We know she likes the track and she trains here
every day, so we think she’ll improve. I like her chances in this field where she can utilize her pace.”
Carded as race 3, the Correction is scheduled to go to post at 2:40pm ET.
This week’s Cross-Country Pick 5 begins with Aqueduct’s race 7 and then moves to Oaklawn Park for four stakes races that include both divisions of the Kentucky Derby prep race, the Rebel, and the Azeri featuring the 2019 debut of top older females.
Leg 1 – Aqueduct, Race 7 (4:50 p.m.)
Leg 2 – Oaklawn, Race 7: Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri (5:21 p.m.)
Leg 3 – Oaklawn, Race 8: Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel (5:57 p.m.)
Leg 4 – Oaklawn, Race 9: $350,000 Essex Handicap (6:29 p.m.)
Leg 5 – Oaklawn, Race 10: Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel (7:06 p.m.)