Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., hosted a welcome reception and press conference for media and fans to meet new retiree Rapid Redux June 1 .
Even though there were rainstorms and a drastic drop in temperature, about 35 journalists, photographers, and fans, some from as far away as New York, came out to see the 6-year-old gelding that holds the modern North American record for consecutive wins by a Thoroughbred.
In January, Rapid Redux, a Kentucky-bred, earned his 22nd straight victory at Laurel Park before he was retired from racing. He bettered the 19-race win streaks set by Peppers Pride and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta.
Claimed for $6,250 in 2010 by owner Robert Cole, Jr and trained by David Wells, Rapid Redux finished his career with 28 wins from 42 lifetime starts. His earnings total $361,609.
“I know so many of the horses we have here at Old Friends because I’m old,” said Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen. “I saw them when they were still racing. But this horse has a young fan base, and we’re so thrilled to be able to have him here. He will be a huge draw for a new audience.”
Blowen said that Wells, who had Rapid Redux at his farm in Pennsylvania while the gelding’s connections finalized retirement plans, is planning a trip to the Bluegrass soon to visit Rapid Redux in his new home.
“After he got here I called David to tell him that Rapid Redux’s new best friend was Gulch, “ Blowen said. “I said, ‘Did you ever think your horse would be friends with Gulch?’ ”
Rapid Redux arrived at Old Friends May 30.
“Rapid Redux was just a total professional,” Blowen said. “He hasn’t given us a moment of grief. He got off the trailer, went in his stall, ate some hay, drank some water, and then spent about an hour looking out at Little Silver Charm (the Old Friends mascot who is a mini-Shetland cross) probably wondering what the heck he was!”
Fans are welcome to come and see Rapid Redux at the farm. Old Friends is open to the public daily, offering guided tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. (EDT).