LAUREL, MD. 02-01-12---The Maryland Jockey Club will honor the connections of Rapid Redux on Saturday, February 18. Rapid Redux has won 22 consecutive races, including a perfect 19-for-19 season a year ago and took home a pair of national awards last month.
The celebration will include a poster giveaway, a winners’ circle presentation and an autograph session with owner Robert Cole, trainer David Wells and primary jockey J.D. Acosta (depending on mounts).
Cole, a Baltimore County native, claimed the son of Pleasantly Perfect at Penn National for $6,250 on October 13, 2010. In his next 24 races, Rapid Redux won 23 times with earnings of $266,074. The win-streak began December 2, 2010 at Penn National. During the streak, Rapid Redux won races at seven different tracks at distances from five-furlongs to 1-1/8 miles, using seven riders.
He earned his 19th straight victory at Laurel Park on October 27, 2011 to tie Zenyatta and Peppers Pride in the record book for most consecutive victories by a United States based runner and won four other races at the central Maryland track last year (January 12, February 16, March 3 and December 13). He added a sixth victory at Laurel during the streak on January 4, 2012, his 22nd straight score.
“We were able to run seven times in Maryland during the streak, including Timonium, and it is good it worked out that way because I am a Maryland guy,” Cole said. “When the country was watching as we closed in on the record he was running here. Even though he trains at Penn National I think people think of him as a Maryland horse. David and I feel that way, too.”
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters honored Rapid Redux with the Special Eclipse Award for extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
“It was fun going to California and talking to all the big stars in racing,” added Cole, a 1981 graduate of Loch Raven High School. “It was a little scary being on the stage. The lights were so bright you couldn’t see the crowd but I felt comfortable. I wanted the racing world to know how much I appreciated David’s training and how proud I was of the horse.”
Rapid Redux finished 11th in the voting for Horse of the Year honors with 52 points, which included four first place votes, despite running in starter allowance company in 17 of the 19 starts in 2011.
Rapid Redux also earned “Vox Populi Award” honors. The brainchild of Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, Rapid Redux beat Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, Goldikova and Uncle Mo in the voting by fans.
“I talked to Penny Chenery on the phone for 10 or 15 minutes,” Cole said. “I got to tell her the story of how I won a three-way shake the night I took him. The night before I claimed a horse at Charles Town for $25,000 and he never ended up winning a race. That’s how crazy this story is. You spend $25,000 on a horse who can’t win then $6,000 the next night on a horse who wins 22 in a row. He certainly had upside when we claimed him because of the conditions he was eligible for and his early speed, which gave him potential to make us money. Wells transferred him into an unforgettable, priceless horse with a spot in history.”
Rapid Redux will not be trying to win his 23rd race in a row anytime soon. He was taken out of training following the January 4 score at Laurel and has been stabled at David Wells’ farm near Penn National.
“He is doing fine on David’s farm and we are hoping to extend the streak,” said Cole. “If he was a normal horse he would be coming back to race for sure but we don’t want to bring him back if he is not the same horse. That is the predicament we have and we don’t know where we’ll be in May or June when he is ready to go again. We are uncommitted at this time. He has given us everything he’s got and you don’t want to go to the well one too many times.”
The February 18 card will include the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) and the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap.