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Trainer Linda Rice gets 2-week suspension for bute overage

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Linda Rice, the leading trainer this season at Aqueduct, was
ordered to serve a 14-day medication suspension March 3-16 for a bute overage
last winter, according to the New York State Gaming Commission’s rulings database.

Rice also was fined $2,000, because the now 5-year-old mare Afleet
Arlene tested positive for an excessive amount of phenylbutazone after winning
a $28,000 claiming race Jan. 21, 2023, at Aqueduct.

Click here for Aqueduct entries and results.

The Paulick Report, which ran the story first, quoted
Rice as saying, “I initially appealed the suspension, but after reviewing the
facts, I decided to drop the appeal.”

According to the ruling posted by the NYSGC, “Linda Rice
trained horse Afleet Arlene that finished first in the fourth race at Aqueduct
Racetrack on Jan. 21, 2023, and having received a report from the New York drug-testing
and research program that a race-day sample taken from the horse Afleet Arlene
had the substance phenylbutazone present at a concentration, including an
assessment of the measurement and imprecision of the quantitative threshold, in
excess of the quantitative threshold, in excess of 0.3 micrograms per milliliter
in plasma. … Trainer Linda Rice is hereby fined the sum of $2,000 and
suspended 14 days March 3, 2024, through March 16, 2024, inclusive.
Furthermore, the stewards order horse Afleet Arlene disqualified from any part
of the purse and the purse redistributed.”

Afleet Arlene was placed last in the field of seven. A $16,000
claim for her already had been voided by the track veterinarian, according to
the Equibase race chart. The daughter of Afleet Alex owned by Winning Move
Stable has not raced or worked since.

Rice served a separate 10-day suspension and was fined
$1,000 last February for a failed drug test two weeks before Afleet Arlene’s
race. Winter Pool, now a 7-year-old gelding, was flagged for bute after a Jan. 7 Aqueduct claiming-race victory
that was subsequently vacated.

The Paulick Report pointed out the two penalties
given to Rice came before the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority established
new rules for bute overages. Now they result in no suspension, a $500 fine and a
payback of affected purse money.

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