Robert Cole Jr.’s Rapid Redux, winner of 19 consecutive Thoroughbred races in 2011, will be honored with the Special Eclipse Award during ceremonies Jan. 16 in Los Angeles.
The Special Eclipse Award honors extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Rapid Redux, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Pleasantly Perfect , was 19-for-19 in 2011 for trainer David Wells, who is based at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania. The mark equaled Citation’s United States record of 19 wins in a calendar year.
Including two victories that closed out 2010, Rapid Redux also broke the record for consecutive wins by a U.S -based runner previously held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride, who each registered 19 straight victories.
Cole, who lives in Maryland, claimed Rapid Redux for $6,250 in October 2010. The gelding raced at seven different tracks and won at distances from five furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, mostly in starter allowance races for horses that had started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less.
Rapid Redux is scheduled to make his first start of the year Jan. 4 at Laurel Park under the same starter allowance conditions.
“It’s a top award in this sport and a dream come true,” Cole said. “Rapid Redux has shown the greatest in durability and consistency. He hasn’t thrown in a bad race. To win like this over a 13-month period is nearly impossible.
"He’s Maryland home-grown running in Maryland. We wanted him to stay close to home as he relates so well to the average fan. It’s not like going to the sales and paying a million dollars. He’s a blue-collar horse.”
“The achievements of Rapid Redux in 2011 were remarkable,” said Alex Waldrop, National Thoroughbred Racing Association president and chief executive officer. “Winning 21 consecutive races including 19 of them in a single year—at distances ranging from five furlongs to a mile and an eighth—is something we won’t soon again see.”