The 5-year-old son of Pleasantly Perfect won his 19th race in 2011, tying the legendary Citation, who won 19 times during his Triple Crown season of 1948. Rapid Redux, who has now won his last 21 starts dating back to Dec. 2, 2010, broke the U.S. record for consecutive wins in his previous start Nov. 21 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Rapid Redux completed 1 1/16 miles on Laurel’s fast track in 1:45.08 under J. D. Acosta, holding off a late charge by Awesome Rhythm to win by a half-length. The chestnut gelding is owned by Robert Cole Jr. and trained by David Wells. They claimed him for $6,250 in October 2010.
The North American single-season record is held by Puerto Rico-based Camarero, who won 29 straight races in 1955 and another 19 a year earlier during a 56-race win streak.
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“I love the horse,” Cole said. “The trainer has done an incredible job. I feel very blessed. It’s an incredible feat of luck and incredible skill by the horse. My dad talked about Citation all the time and it’s amazing here we are at 19 with Citation. There is no way you could ever imagine claiming a horse for $6,000 that would be mentioned in the same breath as Citation. It is more than a million to one. I know that and do not take it for granted.”
Sent off at 3-10 in a field of six, Rapid Redux broke sharply from post 1 and never trailed. He outhustled First Nite and Awesome Rhythm into the first turn and had a 1 1/2-length lead after an opening quarter-mile of :24.36. First Nite and Awesome Rhythm chased the leader through a half-mile in :48.13 and six furlongs in 1:13.05, but were never able to get close enough to put any real pressure on him.
Rapid Redux held a three-length advantage at the eighth-pole and was kept to task throughout the final furlong until Acosta dropped the whip in the late stages. It wasn’t until the last few strides that Awesome Rhythm and Abel Castellano Jr. cut into his clear lead, but the wire came just in time for Rapid Redux.
Awesome Rhythm finished 5 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher No Brakes.
Rapid Redux, who was bred in Kentucky by Fortress Pacific Equine, improved to 27-1-1 from 41 lifetime starts and upped his earnings to $351,919.
He paid $2.60, $2.40, and $2.10.
Wells said Rapid Redux will likely not race in 2012.
“I would love to squeeze one more (race) out before the end of the year, but it is up to the horse,” said Wells. “It is amazing he has stayed sound so long. He trains well every day. He is always at 80 plus percent. A lot of days he is at 100. The reason we kept him sound is we picked our spots really well-keeping him in the $5,000 starters.
"You run him in an allowance race or a stakes he is tore up. We have turned down $35,000 a couple of times but he is not going to win for more than that. Why not let him go out on top? That’s what I want to do.”