Robert Cole Jr.’s Rapid Redux became the all-time North American win leader in modern times with his 20th consecutive victory Nov. 21 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia (VIDEO).
With the field reduced to four horses after four late scratches, one just before post time, the 5-year-old gelding by Pleasantly Perfect was gunned to the front by jockey Deshawn Parker, nursed a short lead until the top of the stretch, and pulled clear to win the one-mile starter allowance race by four lengths. Rapid Redux is now 18-for-18 in 2011.
“This has been a lot of fun,” said Cole, who lives in Maryland. “This horse is something else.”
Rapid Redux, claimed by Cole for $6,250 last year, won the 20 races in less than a year’s time. His streak began Dec. 2, 2010, at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Trained by David Wells, Rapid Redux has won one race every 17.75 days since the streak began.
“With all due respect to Zenyatta and Peppers Pride, the record now belongs to him and him alone, Rapid Redux,” track announcer Peter Berry said at the finish.
Rapid Redux set modest fractions on the muddy surface, with an opening quarter-mile in :24.70, a half-mile in :48.84, and six furlongs in 1:13.88. He received some pressure down the backstretch from Sunshine Bo, then repelled a brief bid from the filly Lady On Fire before pulling away at the top of the lane. The time for the one mile was 1:40.04.
Rapid Redux paid $2.20 to win and $2.20 to place. Show wagering was canceled after the scratches.
The toughest competition, on paper at least, was scratched earlier in the day, leaving little doubt Rapid Redux would have things his own way. There were anxious moments, however, before the start.
Last to load, Rapid Redux fought entering the starting gate, necessitating whip taps from Parker. After more than a minute, the front of the gate was opened and the gelding was loaded.
“That’s his normal way,” said Parker, who has ridden Rapid Redux in all of his Mountaineer races. “Once he gets in the gate, he’s fine.”
Wells, who is from Wheeling, W.Va., about 40 minutes south of Mountaineer, said after the race his main concern was that Rapid Redux exit the race in good order.
“I was watching him really close,” Wells said. “He came back really good. His (starter allowance) eligibility runs out in 40 days. I don’t think this race took too much out of him.”
Rapid Redux was pre-entered Nov. 21 for the Dec. 3 Claiming Crown at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He would race in the $50,000 Iron Horse for 3-year-olds and up that have started for a claiming price of $7,500 or less. The distance is 1 1/16 miles.
After the race Cole and Wells said the Claiming Crown is 50-50.
“If it was at Laurel Park we’d do it,” Wells said of the Maryland track at which Rapid Redux has won this year. “I hate to say that, but I’m worried about the ship (to Louisiana).”
Rapid Redux earned $9,685 for his Mountaineer victory to push his earnings to $342,229. This year alone the gelding has won $202,894 racing in starter allowance events in the Mid-Atlantic region and Ohio.