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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Rapid Redux Romps Again

Rapid Redux
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

On an otherwise ordinary day at Laurel Park, racing fans gathered at the track, if they were lucky enough, or at their computers in order to see history being made.  Granted, racing history generally is not made during the week when most races on the card are claiming or allowance races, but that is exactly what happened today. Race 6 on the card of 9 featured Rapid Redux, the blue collar horse that has raced his way not only into the hearts of the fans but also into the record books. It was just three short weeks ago that the Iron Horse, as many are calling him, defeated a depleted field and broke the modern North American record for most consecutive wins. The previous record was 19 set by Peppers Pride and equaled by Zenyatta. Today, Rapid Redux won his 21st consecutive race and 19th race in one calendar year. With today’s win, Rapid Redux equaled Citation’s record for most races won in a calendar year.

 

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that today was all about Rapid Redux. Before the five-year old Pleasantly Perfect gelding could even step onto the track, him and his connections were already stopping and posing for photographs. Once on the track, the gelding warmed up like a professional, but his flair for the dramatic took over again at the gate. Just like in his last race, Rapid Redux was reluctant to load and needed urging to step in and wait for the rest of the field. Once the gelding was sure that all eyes were on him, he loaded quietly. The start was good for all, and jockey J.D. Acosta hustled his charge out of the gate from the inside post position and straight to the lead. He set moderate fractions of 24.36 for the opening quarter and 48.13 for the half. In the stretch, Rapid Redux opened up a 3 length advantage when called upon and looked clear approaching the wire; however, Awesome Rhythm closed quickly in the final strides to shorten Rapid Redux’s winning margin to a half a length. It looked like it would be close at the end, but, despite the final winning margin, the Big Fish never lost control of the race and had plenty left to fend off Awesome Rhythm, even after Acosta dropped his stick. No Brakes was a non-threatening third followed in order of finish by First Nite, Shamroge, and Zosogood. Rapid Redux returned $2.60, $2.40, and $2.10 and stopped the clock at 1:45.08 for the mile and one sixteenth race. 

 

In the winner’s circle, trainer David Wells and owner Robert Cole were reminded of the significance of the day. When asked if they would try for the record for wins in a calendar year, the commentator first had to repeat the question before he could get an answer. Once Wells was refocused, he stated that they would try to beat Citation’s record only if Rapid Redux told them that he was ready to go.

 

Now that Rapid Redux owns the modern record for most consecutive wins and has tied the record for most wins in a calendar year, the question of how he should be rewarded still lingers. It has been proposed that he should be placed on the Eclipse Award ballot for at least Champion Older Male if not Horse of the Year, but elitists have declared that he does not belong on the ballots because he has not faced the nation’s top competition. He has been nominated for the Secretariat ‘Vox Populi’ award, an award that gives recognition to the horse that generated the most fan response during the year. By that criteria, Rapid Redux certainly qualifies and should be one of the top contenders for the award. If he wins it, that would be great, but I personally believe that that is not enough for the horse that has shown the world that a blue blood pedigree is not required in order to accomplish great things. Popularity does not always equal great success, but the opposite is generally true.                

 

To honor Rapid Redux for his accomplishments, I propose the creation of a new award: the ‘Iron Horse’ award. The ‘Iron Horse’ award would be an annual award given to the horse that has set himself apart in some way. Its main purpose would be to award a horse that would otherwise have been overlooked. In a lot of ways, the award would be almost like the ‘Vox Populi’ award, but what happens when a remarkable horse comes along during a year when there is an extremely popular stakes caliber horse? Well, if Rapid Redux had accomplished all that he has last year, then he would have gone largely unrecognized due to the popularity Zenyatta garnered. In the case of Rapid Redux, he set himself apart by breaking one record and tying another. He has raced every 17 days on average and has been sound all year long. He may or may not win the ‘Vox Populi’ award, but if the ‘Iron Horse’ award existed, he would be the clear winner. He truly has been an ‘Iron Horse’ this year.

 

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Older Comments about Rapid Redux Romps Again...

i'd like to see him break the record in another starter allowance race, then move up to say a $30,000 allowance race to see how he fares against stiffer competition. eclipse awards show should have some sort of award for him.
Nice article, I personally have seen Rapid race and noticed on several occasions after he has left the winners circle he looks at everyone in the crowd and almost seems as if he's posing. He's shows character and it's obvious he loves to race.
Those racing programs, etc. will be worth a lot of money one day. He has done great things for the sport this year, and I sincerely hope that he is not retired at the end of the year.
A friend of mine was at Laurel and said all the programs were sold out and there was a large crowd there to RR on. So he is not Citation or Secretariat, big deal. He is great for racing. Wish him the best. People should vote for him for the Vox Populi award on Bloodhorse website.
Do i think he is close to Citation, nope, but one cannot deny this gelding is something else. Its good that he is being recognized the way he is.
Well said, Andy! If we could racing in the spotlight more often than just during Triple Crown or Breeders' Cup season, then maybe the sport could beat the bad rap it has been getting. Not to mention, a lot of people identify with Rapid Redux. He's the "little guy" doing big things, living the American Dream so to speak. I believe that it is nice that a non-stakes caliber horse is getting so much attention.
I don't understand why people are bashing or mocking Rapid Redux. His streak has garnered a tremendous amount of attention and that is good for racing. The streak has been great fun. He was featured on ESPN SportsCenter tonight. We need more stories like this in racing.
Yes, romps. He could easily have made the winning margin greater, but what is the point in riding him out if he's already won? No need to run him into the ground just to prove a point.
Romps?
if horsemen want to initiate a special award for a special horse this is the time to do it. Othet industries have done it on occasion so why not fo it this year? This horse has oroved a lot to the racing wiorld. He kicked up his heels in the paddick today signifying good luck....his racing luck had been phenomenal.
Blackjack!

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis
  
 

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

 

Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

 

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.