Trainer Don Rice, who was recently injured at his Central Florida farm, died Jan. 6 at a Gainesville hospital, Tampa Bay Downs has reported. He was 72.
Eight-time Tampa Bay Downs leading trainer Don Rice was hospitalized in critical condition after he was apparently kicked in the head by a horse at his Central Florida farm.
The Tampa Bay Downs board of stewards handed trainer Don Rice an additional six-month suspension and denied privileges of the grounds during that period after a third Rice-trained horse tested positive for an excess amount of alkaline agents during the last week.
Trainer Don Rice, who has topped the Tampa Bay Downs trainer standings six times, has been suspended 30 days and denied access to the grounds of the Florida racetrack for the same period because two of his horses tested positive for "milkshakes" in the past week.
Bucking many national trends, Tampa Bay Downs concluded its 94-day season Sunday with increases in major business categories of wagering, attendance, and purses.
Tampa Bay Downs racing is growing in popularity as evidenced by a 22% increase in total handle during the 93-day that ended May 4. Total handle of $237,158,919 was up about $44 million from the 2001-2002 season.
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