As retirement looms for Rapid Redux, the trainer of the horse that tied Citation’s modern day record for most wins in a year is seeking a retirement home for the 5-year-old gelding.
David Wells, who trained Rapid Redux to win 19 races in 2011 and 22 of 23 since being claimed on behalf of Robert Cole Jr. for $6,250 in October 2010, said Rapid Redux will make one or two starts in 2012 before being retired.
Wells and Cole had hoped to race Rapid Redux one more time in 2011 in an effort to set the season win mark, but that did not come to fruition. Wells said he thought Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course or Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races would put together a race that fit the conditions under which Repid Redux runs, but that did not happen.
The only other options for a race before the end of the year would have been at Tampa Bay Downs or Gulfstream Park, but proper shipping arrangements could not be made at the last minute for that to happen, Wells said.
Instead, Rapid Redux will race in early 2012, probably at Laurel Park, where he scored his 19th victory in 2011, and will then be retired, Wells said. In its first 2012 condition book Laurel, which opens Jan. 4, has a few starter allowance races for horses that have started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2010-11, which means Rapid Redux wouldn't have to race for a tag.
"I didn't want to race him anymore but he came out of that last race sound, so we will race him one or two more times and then retire him," Wells said.
In seeking a permanent retirement home for Rapid Redux, Wells said he would like for it to be a facility where the gelding is exposed to the public and a place where his on-the-track exploits can help generate publicity for retirement centers. A son of Pleasantly Perfect, Rapid Redux has won 27 of 41 career starts and earned $351,919.
So far, Wells said, he has been contacted by CANTER South Carolina and Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky.
"I want to try to use him to help the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation somehow," Wells said. "If there is a way to generate publicity for other horses, (we'd like to). I am just trying to figure out how to market him for retirement."
As far as Rapid Redux’s accomplishments this year, Wells said he believes it is legitimate for his horse, who did most of his winning at the starter allowance level, to be included in the Horse of the Year conversation.
“The thing about this horse is that he has shown up every time, and you can’t say that about the other horses (being considered for Horse of the Year honors),” Wells said. “He has barely been headed. The award is called ‘Horse of the Year’ not ‘Elite Horse of the Year.’ ”
Wells said even if Rapid Redux is denied racing’s top honor, he hopes the horse is honored in some way for his efforts in 2011.
Rapid Redux is one of four horses in the running for the “Secretariat Vox Populi Award.” Created by Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People,” Award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence resounded most with the American public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year. Other finalists are Goldikova, Havre de Grace, and Uncle Mo .