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Huge Day for Rice, Velasquez at Big A

Trainer Linda Rice
Trainer Linda Rice and jockey Cornelio Velasquez each had four winners on Saturday's card at Aqueduct Racetrack, with Velasquez aboard for three of Rice's victories. Rice, who has saddled 12 winners during the Aqueduct main track meet, now tops the trainer standings going into Sunday's closing day. Velasquez, with 23 victories on the main track, enjoys a five-win lead over David Cohen (18) and Eddie Castro (18) in the jockey standings.

Rice and Velasquez picked up their first victories separately on Saturday, with the trainer sending out Finn Again ($7.60) to win the second race, a turf route for maidens, under Alan Garcia. In race 4, the Northern Willy overnight stakes, Velasquez piloted Miss Valentine ($3.80) to a 2 ¼-length victory over the main track for trainer Christophe Clement.

Rice and Velasquez then teamed up to win race 5 with Cricky'sgoldeneyes ($7.90) and race 6 with longshot first-timer N. F.'s Destiny ($22.20). Rice's Tell Grant finished eighth in race 7 with Velasquez aboard, but the pair resumed their winning ways on the turf in race 8 when Velasquez guided Abilio ($8.50) to a one-length allowance victory.

"I thought we had a really good chance to win the second, the sixth, and the eighth," Rice said after Abilio's victory. "I wasn't counting on the fifth. It's a good time to have all the grass horses back from vacation and Florida, and hopefully we have a good season [at the upcoming Belmont Park meet]."

Rice is one win ahead of both Rudy Rodriguez (11) and Rick Dutrow, Jr. (11) in the Aqueduct main track trainer standings and has six horses entered on Sunday's closing day card at Aqueduct, while Velasquez is named to ride five, including three for Rice.

Sunday's final Big A card also will feature a mandatory payout for a $44,851.33 Pick 6 Carryover which begins in Race 4, scheduled to go off at 2:25 p.m.



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Older Comments about Huge Day for Rice, Velasquez at Big A...

Linda Rice is the BEST--would love to see her add that Aqueduct trainer title to the Saratoga one!

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