Rapid Redux held off several challengers en route to a game 15th consecutive victory when he won a 1 1/16-mile starter allowance at Thistledown Aug. 22 by a half-length over Hatch.
A 5-year-old gelding by Pleasantly Perfect out of Thiscatsforcaryl, by Storm Cat, Rapid Redux’s trip to Cleveland, Ohio, improved his record to 21 wins, one second, and one third from 35 career starts, with earnings of $285,594 for owner Robert Cole Jr. His attempt at 16 straight is likely to come at either the Maryland State Fair at Timonium meet or Laurel Park.
Wings On Springs jumped out to the early lead from the inside post and got the first quarter in :23.02. Rapid Redux was third and three-wide into the first turn, with Petch between the two.
The three briefly raced heads apart before a determined Rapid Redux took over to complete the half-mile in :46.06 and six furlongs in 1:12.04 while dispatching first Petch and then Wings On Springs. While never leading by more than a length, Rapid Redux held off Gold Prospect before digging deep for a game victory over a fast-closing Hatch, who trailed the field by a dozen lengths down the backstretch before taking the place by 7 1/2 lengths over Gold Prospect.
The final time was 1:46.82. The 1-5 favorite, Rapid Redux returned $2.40 and $2.10. Hatch returned $4.80 to place. With the field shortened to five, there was no show wagering.
Jockey Weldon Cloninger Jr., aboard Rapid Redux for the first time, said his mount "broke a little sluggish. I tried to take hold of him but he dragged me to the lead. Then when the other horses came to him he kept digging in. I tried to take him back a little but he wouldn’t let me.
“At the top of the stretch I thought I was out of horse, but when Gold Prospect) came to him, he took off again. He had a terrible trip. Nothing went his way. But he still won. I am very impressed with this horse.”
Trainer David Wells said sluggish start could have been due to Rapid Redux’s recent rare break from competition.
“With all the shipping, he lost about 150 pounds, so we tried to give him some time off and put some weight back on him, but that meant he hadn’t run in 35 days," Wells said. "So he might not have been at his best today. This is the toughest $3,000 I’ve ever made.”
Wells is based at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Rapid Redux has racked up his wins there at other tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“He got hung out wide all the way, and then they pushed him all the way,” owner Cole said. “I wasn’t sure, but a win’s a win.”