Linda Rice and Jose Lezcano team up for five-win day at the Big A
Apr 4, 2024
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Linda Rice and Jose Lezcano team up for five-win day at the Big A

by Keith McCalmont

Trainer Linda Rice and jockey Jose Lezcano combined to win five races on Thursday’s eight-race card at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Rice, who captured the recently concluded Aqueduct winter meet training title with 23 wins, won with all five of her starters on Thursday’s program, while Lezcano won with 5-of-6 mounts. Three of the Rice-Lezcano scores came for owner Winning Move Stable.

“It feels very nice, especially for Linda. She’s my big support here in New York the last couple of years. It feels very nice to win five races for her,” said Lezcano, who finished second aboard Dolce Veloce with his only non-winning mount on the card in Race 5. “Linda does a very good job with the horses, and she brings them ready to run. Today, we did very good and got five.”

Rice, who won a record-equaling 164 races on the NYRA circuit last year, was pleased to kick off the Aqueduct spring meet in style.

“I've had a few four-win days, a lot of three-win days, but not five in one day. It is pretty exciting,” Rice said. “The races went for me. Did I think we'd win five? No, not necessarily, but I knew we would have a good day."

The quintet of scores kicked off in Race 2 as Winning Move Stable’s Solib [No. 5, $3.70*] romped to victory in a seven-furlong claiming sprint for older New York-bred fillies and mares. The success continued in Race 4 as the Rice-owned Screaming Uncle [No. 1A, $2.90*] prevailed in a claiming sprint for 3-year-olds and upward.

Winning Move Stable would sweep Race 6 and Race 7 as New York-bred Cinderella’s Cause [No. 8, $4.60*] won a one-turn mile claimer against open company older fillies and mares one race before graded stakes-winner Joey Freshwater [No. 6, $9.90] ran off to an impressive score in an allowance optional-claiming tilt for older horses.

"I'll tell you Joey Freshwater ran a superb race. He really stepped up. It was a tough race and he really ran great,” said Rice of last year’s Grade 3 Bay Shore winner. “Joey Freshwater's race was pretty tough, a three-other-than in New York is always tough. Frankly I was thrilled with the way he ran, and it was just a dominant performance.”

The memorable day concluded in Race 8 as Everything's Cricket Racing’s New York homebred Freedsdale [No. 5, $22] made a winning debut with a prominent trip in a state-bred maiden special weight for sophomores.

“This 3-year-old in the last race had been training beautifully and I thought he would run great,” Rice said. “I wasn't sure it would be a win, but I was surprised he was such a long price."

Lezcano said he rode Freedsdale with confidence.

“She told me the horse was doing very good and had been working very good and is very fast out of the gate,” Lezcano said. “The way the track was playing today and [the fact he] trained very good, I let him be there and when I asked him, he go on and win the race.”

Rice and Lezcano are listed together in five races on Friday’s eight-race card at the Big A. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the spring meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

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