At Laurel Park, Rapid Redux wins 22nd consecutive race

6-year old holds off Awesome Rhythm, captures 22nd straight race

January 04, 2012|Baltimore Sun staff report

Rapid Redux started 2012 the way he finished last year — winning.

The victory in the sixth race at Laurel Park Wednesday was the 22nd straight for the horse, who held off Awesome Rhythm. Rapid Redux paid $2.80 as the 2-5 betting favorite.

Earlier in the day it was announced that Rapid Redux had earned a Special Eclipse Award and his owner, Robert Cole, will receive it later this month in Beverly Hills, Calif.

"Being a local it is fun winning in front of the home crowd," said Cole, a 1981 graduate of Loch Raven High School. "A lot of my friends are here. I was a bettor for years before I was an owner. I know the people here and it is fun to win with my friends."

Rapid Redux led Wednesday's race from start to finish, beating four other starter allowance runners on opening day of Laurel Park's 2012 racing season. J.D. Acosta was aboard the 6-year-old, who finished the one-mile distance in 1:38.24.

Awesome Rhythm was second at the start and pressed the winner throughout, getting as close as a half-length nearing the top of the stretch. But Rapid Redix was too much down the stretch.

"He was getting out a little bit down the lane with me," Acosta said. "I was really concerned because I had that other horse right next to me the whole time. I knew he was the horse to watch. When we turned for home he really started running the way he always does. He picked up the bridle and he started running really strong. "

Rapid Redux trainer David Wells said Tuesday his horse "grabbed a quarter" in his right front foot a few days ago during training and had a minor cut on his right foot.

Cole claimed the son of Pleasantly Perfect at Penn National for $6,250 on Oct. 13, 2010. Since then, the gelding has won 23 of 24 races with earnings of $266,074. The win streak began Dec. 2, 2010 at Penn National with 18 of the victories coming in starter allowance races. Rapid Redux, who broke the record for consecutive wins last November at Mountaineer Park with his 20th straight, last lost on Nov. 18, 2010. The horse was a perfect 19-of-19 in 2011.

Rapid Redux has won races at seven different tracks at distances from five-furlongs to 1-1/8 miles, using seven riders during the streak. He earned his 19th straight victory at Laurel Park on Oct. 27, 2011, to tie Zenyatta and Peppers Pride in the record book.

"The math is unbelievable when you think about it," added Cole. "It is tough to win this many in a row. The durability is his greatest trait. He'll keep running as long as he's healthy."

Earlier Wednesday, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced that Rapid Redux will be honored with the Special Eclipse Award. The Special Award honors extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

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