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HomeRacingRice's Roll Extends to Saratoga, Taking Opening Race

Rice’s Roll Extends to Saratoga, Taking Opening Race


The standard “They usually’re off at Saratoga” name might have come from a brand new voice, however the pleasure that the primary race of the Saratoga Race Course meet generates was as vibrant as ever.

The a hundred and sixtieth racing season on the Spa kicked off in typical trend July 13, with a mile-and-an-eighth race that begins in entrance of the grandstand, and the loud cheers from the gang that jammed the apron echoed the phrases of monitor announcer Frank Mirahmadi because the horses broke from the gate.

On the wire, the end was a well-known one as nicely, as Linda Rice, winner of the final 4 coaching titles at New York Racing Affiliation meets, vaulted to the highest of the Saratoga standings, sending out Profitable Transfer Secure’s Bustin Bay  to a 1 1/2-length victory over Klaravich Stables’ Virtual Reality .

“It was exciting,” Rice said. “There’s a great crowd. It’s opening day and it’s always fun to win on opening day, especially the first race. I hope it’s an omen for good things to come. I was thinking we may have used all our bullets at Belmont and Aqueduct, but hopefully we can keep it going.”

Aside from the debut of Mirahmadi at the microphone, the race also produced the first payoff for NYRA’s new program offering a 30% purse boost to New York State-breds who compete in open races.

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Bred by Robert and Peter Rosenthal and Martin Greenberg in New York, the 5-year-old daughter of Bustin Stones ran for $149,500 in purse cash within the open first-level allowance elective claiming race versus the $115,000 that was up for grabs for the three starters within the discipline of six who had been bred exterior of the Empire State.

Profitable Transfer pocketed $82,225 due to the bonus, a lift of $18,975 from the unique purse of $115,000, which might have paid $63,250 to a winner who was bred exterior of New York.

The added 30% additionally benefitted Mia Bea Star , a New York-bred who was third and received $17,940 and an additional $4,140 through the state-bred incentive for running in an open race. Honey Money  (sixth) received $4,485, with an extra $1,035.

“It’s an excellent program. It’s going to be great for the New York breeders. It will cause people to invest more in breeding mares in New York,” Rice said. “I am so excited about NYRA and (CEO and president) Dave O’Rourke and everyone else involved in it for coming up with this. I think it’s fabulous.”

Bustin Bay, who won for the 10th time in 33 starts (most of them in state-bred races), covered the 1 1/8  miles in 1:53.90 and paid $5.40 to win as the 8-5 favorite. She was ridden by Belmont Park riding champ Jose Ortiz.

Video: Race 1 (AOC) at SAR on 7/13/23


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