Rice Keeps it in the Family With Hot City Girl

February 10, 2016 07:27am
Hot City Girl wins 2015 Safely Kept.
Photo: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Trainer Linda Rice had reason to expect big things from Noble Fire after the daughter of Hook and Ladder launched her career in 2007 with two victories and a stakes placing from three starts.
The New York-bred filly was unable to realize her potential, however, after sustaining an injury in her 3-year-old debut in the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct that would end her racing career.
“I bought Noble Fire as a 2-year-old in training for a client in Ocala for $115,000. She ran four times and had a soft tissue injury,” Rice said. “She had quite a bit of talent. Of course, we were very disappointed when she came up with an injury, but she certainly hasn’t disappointed us since then.”
Noble Fire didn’t have the opportunity to truly prove herself as a racehorse, but she has been able to achieve excellence in her second career as a broodmare, producing multiple Grade 1-winner and Eclipse champion La Verdad, who was recently retired with more than $1.5 million in earnings, and Hot City Girl, a Grade 1-placed multiple-stakes winner who is scheduled to compete in Saturday’s $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel Park.
Both La Verdad and Hot City Girl, a pair of robust half sisters, were purchased privately by Rice for Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable.
“Noble Fire has been a fabulous broodmare. She had a lot of speed and she was a big filly as well. I think that’s where they get their size, La Verdad and Hot City Girl,” Rice said. “She was a big mare and I believe her mother [stakes winner Noble Affair] had a lot of speed, too, and was also a sprinter.”
Rice trained not only Hot City Girl’s dam but her sire, City Zip, as well. City Zip was a multiple-stakes winning sprinter whom Rice saddled for a sweep of Saratoga’s major stakes for 2-year-olds in 2000, the Sanford (G2), Saratoga Special (G2) and Hopeful (G1). The son of Carson City has been among the most successful stallions in the world.
“City Zip was such a great race horse. As a stallion, he puts speed in a horse. He puts run in all of his horses,” Rice said. “Over the course of time, he’s always moved up mares, instills a desire to win and the same raw talent and speed, which of course she [Hot City Girl} has.”
Hot City Girl enters the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie off a second-place finish in the La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita Dec. 26, which followed three consecutive victories by a combined 14 lengths, including the seven-furlong Safely Kept at Laurel Nov. 14 and the Charles Town Oaks (G3) in September. In the La Brea, she set a strong early pace, as she did in her three previous wins, before finishing a half-length behind late-charging Birdatthewire.
Hot City Girl is slated to face a field of seven fillies and mares, including Lady Sabelia, a multiple-stakes winner who captured the Barbara Fritchie last year.
The Barbara Fritchie will be supported by the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media and the $75,000 John B. Campbell on Saturday’s nine-race program that kicks off Laurel’s Winter Carnival Weekend that will conclude Monday with the running of the $250,000 General George (G3), a seven-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up. The $75,000 Miracle Wood and the $75,000 Wide Country will also be featured on Monday’s Presidents’ Day program.

Source: Maryland Jockey Club


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