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Taylor Rice Winds Up in Family Business

Belmont Park

Her father Wayne is a horseman. Her father's father Clyde is a horseman. Her aunt Linda is a horseman. So it's no surprise that like her brothers, Taylor Rice wound up in the family business. The difference being, instead of training horses, she's riding them.


"I'm the only one in my generation who's small enough to ride," said Rice, 25, who began riding professionally at Presque Isle Downs in August and moved her tack to Belmont Park earlier this month. "My whole family is involved with horses, and I've always been around horses, so there was never any question this would be the field I went into."


After graduating Florida State University with a degree in international relations, Rice worked for her father for a year and on the farm breaking horses until she felt ready to take out her jockey's license. She won on her first mount, piloting Giggle Fit, trained by her brother Kevin, at Presque Isle Downs on August 4, and won eight more races before relocating to New York.


"Since Presque Isle was closing, I needed to go somewhere, and why not start at the top?" said Rice, a seven-pound bug. "My aunt has been here for 20 years, and this is her turf. Right now I'm seeing if it's a fit for me. I'm not sure if it's the right time to start my bug, but I'll take a stab at it."


So far, Rice has only had a handful of mounts, with her best finish a third aboard Zeke's Surprise on October 10. Her focus, however, is laying the groundwork for the fall/winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, long a mecca for apprentice riders.


"That's the incentive for coming," she said. "I'm just waiting it out right now, and getting on as many horses as I can in the mornings."


And listening to the advice of her family.


"They all rode before they got too big," said Rice with a smile. "They all give me pointers, and always have something insightful to share."




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