12/03/2002 12:00AM

Linda Rice hurt by kick

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Linda Rice suffered a cracked rib and a puncture wound to her left arm Tuesday when kicked in the back by a horse at her Belmont Park barn during training hours.

Rice, 38, was taken on a stretcher via ambulance to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., where she was to remain overnight for observation. She was to be released Wednesday morning.

"I've got a puncture wound in my arm and they want to make sure it doesn't bleed [and get infected]," Rice said Tuesday afternoon from her hospital room.

"They want to watch it tonight, and they'll let me go in the morning. I was pretty lucky. If I had gotten kicked in my spine it could have been a lot worse. All in all, I'm okay."

Rice will wear have to wear a sling to protect her arm.

Rice, the daughter of former trainer Clyde Rice, is best known as the trainer of City Zip, who swept all three of Saratoga's juvenile stakes, including the Grade 1 Hopeful, in the summer of 2000.

Rice has also trained Grade 1 winners Things Change and Tenski, as well as stakes winners Double Booked, The Silver Move, Ready Jet Go, Twilight Time, and Lady Lear.