Linda Rice -- Not Afraid of Hard Work

The following is excerpted from Women In Racing -- In Their Own Words. Published September 2001 by Eclipse Press

Ready Jet Go, she was an amazing, talented horse; she kept winning stakes. So I decided to take her to Saratoga. First horse I ever raced there. It was a big deal. I drove her up there myself -- not in a horse van, but in my dad's cattle trailer.

I remember saying to my dad, "How am I going to get her in the trailer at Philadelphia Park?" I take feed sacks out of the feed room and build a ramp and put rubber mats in the trailer so I can jump her up into there. And she does it fine.

When I get to Saratoga, when I pulled up in the cattle trailer, well they were kind of amazed. They were shocked, let me tell you. We put Ready Jet Go in the receiving barn; that's where she stayed. I stayed in that little motel there right on the corner of Nelson Avenue.

She wasn't nominated to the Test, which is for three-year-old fillies, so we put her in the Ballerina Stakes against older mares. She runs third, only gets beat this far. After the race I'm getting ready to leave, to drive back to Pennsylvania. Bloodstock agents follow me back to the barn. And there were some reporters wanting to interview me about this filly.

I don't want them to see me putting her back in the cattle trailer. I can't say, "Gentlemen, would you mind looking the other way for a minute?" A friend of mine was there, and I told him, "I'm going to pull the truck down the road there in that grassy area and then back it up." I do that, and it's good; it's kind of downhill.

Now, this time, I've got no feed sacks or rubber mats to help me get the filly back in the trailer. This is hilarious. I'm thinking, "Won't this be a sight for all these people following me? How am I going to do this?"

Remember, this is the filly that when I was out in the field with her that day I thought was blind, deaf, and dumb. So, I pick up one front foot, and I'm thinking, "Oh, this is ridiculous," and she immediately just jumps up into the trailer. She bailed me right out. It was amazing. And all those people were still there and watching as I drove off with her in the cattle trailer. That was my introduction to Saratoga.

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