Rice Aqueduct Leading Trainer at Winter Meet

March 30, 2024

Linda Rice (left). (Adam Coglianese)

David Jacobson Claims Owners’ Title; Dylan Davis Leading Rider 

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Linda Rice continued to assert her dominance on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit when capturing the Aqueduct Racetrack winter meet training title with 23 wins at the 45-day meeting which ran from January 1 through March 30.

Rice has now won the training title at six of the last seven NYRA meetings, along with year-end honors last year as the circuit’s top trainer with a record-tying 164 wins. She also came out on top at last year’s Big A winter meet with 37 wins.

“It’s great,” said Rice. “Frankly, I love New York winter racing and it’s a good place for my clients. They enjoy it, I enjoy it, and it’s been a good winter. It’s pretty surreal.” 

Rice, 60, posted a record of 137-23-27-23 with $1,471,414 in earnings, good for a win rate of 16.79 percent and in-the-money rate of 53.28 percent. Her meet was highlighted by a stakes win in the Interborough with Hot Fudge, who she said is targeting the Grade 3, $175,000 Distaff Handicap on April 6 here. 

“We’re planning on running her in the Distaff,” said Rice. “We’re excited about her.” 

David Jacobson, who trained five winners on the Closing Day card that included a score with Laughing Boy in the Listed $150,000 Excelsior, finished second with 22 wins. Rudy Rodriguez finished third with 19 wins. 

Dylan Davis and Mischief Joke after their victory. (Susie Raisher)
Dylan Davis and Mischief Joke after their victory in the Rego Park. (Susie Raisher)

Jockey Dylan Davis clinched his second Aqueduct winter meet riding title when posting 54 wins. The 29-year-old rider accomplished the feat despite missing the final two days of the meet to travel to Dubai and compete on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup card. 

Davis claimed the title by two wins over Kendrick Carmouche with Jose Lezcano finishing third with 40 wins. Davis celebrates his first riding title since taking the 2022 Aqueduct winter meeting with 63 wins, part of a 186-win year at NYRA that saw him claim year-end honors as the circuit’s leading rider.

The Manhasset, N.Y. native posted a record of 242-54-41-27 at the meet that included stakes wins in the Rego Park aboard Mischief Joke and in the Gander atop Pandagate, who he piloted to a third-place finish in the Group 2 UAE Derby on Saturday at Meydan. In all, Davis’ mounts banked $2,699,061, with a win rate of 22.31 percent and in-the-money percentage of 50.41.

Ahead of his departure for Dubai on Thursday, Davis expressed his gratitude for his prosperous meet and gave credit to his agent Mike Migliore for much of his success.

“I’ve won this title before and [it’s] great to win it again,” said Davis. “My business has improved every year along with the quality of horses I’m riding.”

David Jacobson. (Coglianese Photo)
David Jacobson. (Coglianese Photo)

Jacobson claimed his first owners’ title at NYRA since capturing the 2017 Aqueduct inner track meet. The veteran owner and conditioner secured 18 wins at the meet, including four races on Closing Day. 

“A lot of winners but also a lot of ups and downs,” said Jacobson. “We’ve had some tough beats but overall, it’s been a great meet and hopefully we can carry it into the spring meet.”

Jacobson posted a record of 91-18-12-15, led by three scores with the consistent Colonel Vargo and a pair of wins by Whistler’s Style. His starters banked a total of $874,829 in purses. 

Klaravich Stables finished second with 10 wins while Rice, Michael Dubb, BellaBlue Racing Stable and Ten Strike Racing finished third in a four-way tie with 6 wins each. 

Live racing resumes Thursday at the Big A with an eight-race card to kick off the Aqueduct spring meet. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern. The 16-day meet is highlighted by the lucrative Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino Card on April 6 which will co-feature four additional stakes. For the meet’s full stakes schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/stakes-schedule/.

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