Linda Rice won her first race of
the Saratoga Race Course meet Monday when Ahvee’s Destiny stalked pacesetter Out
Post, then took the lead in midstretch for a three-quarter-length victory in the
$75,000 Smart and Fancy overnight stakes for fillies and mares running 5 ½
furlongs on the turf.
Rice, who shared the Belmont
Spring training title with Todd Pletcher, came into Monday’s card 0-for-10 at
“We had a great Belmont meet. We had a
strong meet down there,” Rice said. “We started a little bit slow. I knew we
would get off to a slow start. We needed to give my horses a break after
Belmont . Things
are starting to come together now.”
“I am excited and relieved to
get the first one underneath me,” she added. “I thought she was in a great spot.
That’s exactly where she likes to run from – stalking from the outside. She has
also won a lot of races on this course.”
Ahvee’s Destiny, a 7-year-old
New York-bred, has won five of 10 races over the Saratoga turf course. Her
other Saratoga victories include the 2008 Mechanicville Stakes, in which Rice
saddled the top four finishers, and the 2009 Finney Stakes.