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Rice to have string at Penn National

For the first time, prominent trainer Linda Rice is bringing a string of horses to Penn National, marking a return to the place she grew up and learned the horse racing business.

Shortly after Penn National opened on August 30, 1972, a nine-year-old Linda Rice moved nearby with her family. Her father Clyde was the leading trainer multiple times between 1973 and 1982, her brother Kent was the leading apprentice jockey in the country in 1979, and her other brothers Wayne and Bryan were integral to the family's success in the sales ring and in readying young horses for the races.

"Penn National was a great place to grow up," said Linda Rice, who was won more than 1,000 races as a trainer. "My passion for racing started at Penn National, and I learned to gallop horses as an exercise rider there when I was 15. I'm excited about driving down the mountain road and coming back to a place where I spent a lot of time."

At the age of 23, Rice obtained her trainer's license and moved to the New Jersey and New York circuits, saddling her first winner on June 3, 1987 at Garden State Park.

Among her long list of accomplishments are becoming the first female to win the prestigious Saratoga training title in 2009, defeating Todd Pletcher by one victory, and becoming the first woman in the history of Keeneland to win a Grade 1 race when Tenski took the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in 1998.

Rice maintains a large string in New York and was looking for a place to bring some additional horses.

"Penn National has some conditions available that meet the needs I am looking for," Rice said. "In addition, it is very accessible from New York, and is familiar territory for me."

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