Rice sends two in pursuit of 2,000th win in $100K Rego Park
by Ryan Martin
Trainer Linda Rice, who is approaching her 2,000th career victory, saddles Scilly Cay and Notorious Flirt in Sunday's $100,000 Rego Park going 6 ½ furlongs over the main track at Aqueduct Racetrack for New York-bred 3-year-olds.
Rice, who has amassed 1,997 lifetime victories heading into Friday's eight-race card at the Big A, will look to join Kathleen O'Connell (2,125) and Kim Hammond (2,280) as the only female trainers to register 2,000 wins.
Scilly Cay, an Alpha Delta Stable homebred, arrives at the Rego Park off a runner-up effort in the Notebook on November 17 at the Big A. The son of second-crop sire Fed Biz graduated at second asking at Belmont Park in October.
"It would be fun if it were him," Rice said of the possible milestone victory. "It's a milestone. I remember getting my 1,000th win at Belmont Park with a filly [Sextant] my father [Clyde Rice] owned and that was a lot of fun. It should be pretty soon. Scilly Cay has been training well, coming into the race nicely. It should be a strong race but we decided to run him."
Scilly Cay is out of the graded stakes winning French Deputy broodmare French Satin, who also produced graded stakes winner Long Haul Bay.
Jockey Jose Lezcano will seek his fourth stakes triumph of the meet when he pilots Scilly Cay from post 5.
Rice also sends out Notorious Flirt who broke his maiden at third asking last out on December 28 at the Big A. Owned by Rice, the son of champion-producing sire Flatter, out of the stakes winning Freud broodmare Karakorum Elektra, was a three-quarter length winner at 15-1 odds in his first test over a fast main track.
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will be aboard from post 2.
Dual stakes-winner Dream Bigger will look to kick off his sophomore campaign on a winning note for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Owned by Repole Stables, Dream Bigger has never finished worse than second in five career starts. Following a pair of runner-up efforts, the son of Mission Impazible was a highly impressive 10 ¾-length winner of the New York Breeders' Futurity on September 30 at Finger Lakes. He subsequently renewed his winning ways next in the Notebook, where he recorded a career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure before coming up a nose short of victory in the NYSSS Great White Way, which was won by Bank On Shea.
Dream Bigger will leave from post 4 under Manny Franco.
Convict [post 1, Dylan Davis] and Harris Bay [post 3, Junior Alvarado] complete the field.
The Rego Park is scheduled as Race 7 on Sunday's eight-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.