Winx's streak: How does it stack up to the greats?

October 13, 2017 05:49pm
Winx 2015 Cox Plate 615 X 400
Photo: Moonee Valley

As a sports fan, I love winning streaks, and I especially enjoy them when they involve a Thoroughbred. The great Winx, who won her 21st consecutive race last Saturday, is the latest to capture the fancy of racing fans around the world, myself included.

Whenever a new and significant consecutive streak develops, I always think about the others that I have enjoyed so much over the years. Here is a collection of my favorites, including race replays from each horse’s career and a quote from the track announcers who helped to make those moments even more special.

To me, it doesn’t matter whether the victory streak is in starter allowance races, restricted state-bred stakes, or Grade 1s. I can’t help but root for the consecutive wins to keep going.

Personal Ensign 13 [13: 13-0-0, $1,679,880] - “At the sixteenth pole it looked like Personal Ensign was facing her first defeat, but in those final 110 courageous yards she certainly proved herself a champion this afternoon.” – Those words are part of Tom Durkin’s call of the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff where Personal Ensign looked so badly beaten on the muddy Churchill Downs track that it appeared she would lose for the only time in her last race. Her rally down the stretch was remarkable as she got up to end with a perfect career. She joined the Hall of Fame in 1993.

14 [14: 14-0-0, $2,998,302] – “The greatest of the greatest.” – To be described in such a way in Europe is quite a testament to the talent of Frankel. In the midst of his streak there were nine Grade 1s in a row. Frankel was given a 147 Timeform rating, the highest ever assigned.

16 [33: 19-4-5, $9,999,815] – “The unconquerable, the unbeatable, the invincible, Cigar.” – The Cigar win steak captivated me and so many others and thrust racing into the mainstream of sports news. His streak spanned almost two years, beginning in 1994 and ending in 1996. In the final two wins of the streak, Cigar was assigned the high weight of 130 pounds. Jerry Bailey and Bill Mott became even bigger stars. Mott would be voted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, and Cigar joined him in 2002. Bailey was admitted in 1995, in the midst of the streak.

Peppers Pride
19 [19: 19-0-0, $1,066,085] - “This will be number 19. The world record holder of the biggest streak in history, Peppers Pride by five.” – Peppers Pride did not get as much attention as some of these other horses because she only raced in New Mexico against only state-breds. Twelve of her wins were in stakes company during her streak that went from 2005 to 2008.

Zenyatta 19 [20: 19-1-0, $7,304,580] – “This is un-believe-able” – Zenyatta’s consecutive win streak was the first that was extensively played out on the Internet. Because it overlapped with the achievements of Rachel Alexandra, the online debates were furious. Zenyatta began racing as a 3-year-old in 2007, and her steak continued until her career finale in 2010. Queen Z became a Hall of Famer in 2016. 

21* [31: 25-3-0, $13,775,925] – “Racing royalty goes to the lead. Racing’s wonder of the world opens up two lengths, three lengths … It’s all Winx … Look at her go … 21 today on the biggest dance floor of them all. Winx by eight.” – The Australian Champion began her run of consecutive victories in May of 2015, and she has not lost a race since. Winx has been Australian Horse of the Year for the last two years and joined the Australian Hall of Fame in 2017.

Rapid Redux
22 [42: 28-1-1, $361,609] “All systems go now for Rapid Redux … Rapid Redux is asked the question and opens a bit now … The 
beat goes on, the streak goes on, Rapid Redux with the 22nd consecutive win.” – The fact that Rapid Redux’s streak was in low level starter allowances did not diminish the interest that was generated. He won 19 of those races alone in 2011. Rapid Redux was victorious at distances from five furlongs to a mile and an eighth at seven different tracks. He was retired shortly after win No. 22. Rapid Redux’s streak had such a significant impact on racing fans that he was awarded a Special Eclipse Award and the Vox Populi Award in 2011. 


Black Caviar
25 [25: 25-0-0, $7,953,936] – “In a heartbeat, she rushed up and took the lead … look at her go, Black Caviar, she raced away. She’s going to set a new Group 1 record in Australia. She’s truly in a league of her own, Black Caviar.” - The Australian sprinter Black Caviar had a perfect career that went from 2008 to 2013, and included 15 Group 1 victories, one of which came at Royal Ascot in 2012. She is just one of two active horses to ever have been admitted to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.


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Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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