Another filly makes history at Saratoga

By Phil Janack
Monday, September 7, 2009

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Two days after Rachel Alexandra made history being the first female to win the Woodward Stakes, trainer Linda Rice gave fans something else to cheer about.

Rice, 45, clinched her first-ever training title today, beating six-time Saratoga champion Todd Pletcher, 20-19. Rice is the first female ever to win the coveted Spa crown.

"It means the world to me," Rice said. "It's been a lot of work and a long time coming, and a real honor to compete at the greatest racetrack in the world and come out with the training title."

Rice failed to win with four horses on today's card, and Pletcher went 0-for-7, with two seconds and one third.

"Frankly, it's not been an easy task," Rice said. "I've been having to place horses aggressively and try colts against fillies and fillies as (main-track-onlys) in turf races, and everything that I could come up with to get them over there first. It doesn't always work. Todd, Steve Asmussen, Billy Mott, Kiaran McLaughlin they're great horsemen and they have very nice horses, nice stables. It just makes it all that more rewarding."

Rice's previous high at Saratoga was 13 wins in 2007. She had eight wins in 2008.

"I don't think you go into Saratoga thinking you're going to win a training title, but it's a lot of fun," she hsaid. "You look at Rachel Alexandra, myself; I think (women) can compete at the highest level. I hope I'm an inspiration."

 

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