I’d be willing to bet that this is the first time that the world of racing has tuned en masse for a Monday evening card from Mountaineer Park, but tonight they had good reason, for how often does the American modern-day record for consecutive wins get broken. Just barely one year after the champion Zenyatta was denied in her attempt to win her 20th race without a loss, Rapid Redux hit the magical mark with a victory in tonight’s eighth race at Mountaineer Park. The starter $5,000 allowance, with a purse of $14,900, may be as far removed from last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic as a race could be, but that mattered little to fans of the five-year-old gelding.
Sent off as a prohibitive 1-10 favorite in the field of four, the most difficult portion of the evening was entering the starting gate, as the consistent winner balked several times before lining up to run. Wearing his now familiar yellow blinkers, Rapid Redux sprinted right to the lead under rider DeShawn Parker, and from there the race was not much more than a formality. Setting comfortable early fractions, the son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Pleasantly Perfect, faced a couple of small challenges on the turn, but never appeared to be in any danger. As the small field hit the homestretch, the heavy favorite was allowed to roll and opened up a big advantage quickly. In the final 50 yards, Rapid Redux was under wraps and hit the wire four lengths ahead of his nearest rival. He finished the one mile distance in 1:40.04 on the muddy main track at Mountaineer Park.
Owned by Robert Cole and trained by David Wells, Rapid Redux is now perfect in 18 starts this year. And so the beat goes on.
Unlike Zenyatta, he did not begin the streak as an undefeated horse, and unlike Pepper’s Pride, the other American horse to win 19 in a row, Rapid Redux was not running in any form of stakes races. But now he has done something that neither the soon to be Hall of Famer, nor the New Mexico legend could do … win 20 races in a row.
The streak began last December, and now Rapid Redux stands alone from any modern thoroughbred in American racing. Say what you will about the class of horses he is running against, but winning this many races in a row is a remarkable feat.
Much like the appreciative West Virginia crowd was thrilled to do tonight, I salute you, Rapid Redux!