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Feb 17, 2012

Honors Saturday for Rapid Redux and friends


Laurel, MD (Sports Network) - Record holder Rapid Redux and his connections will receive another honor on Saturday at one of their favorite tracks. The Maryland Jockey Club will recognize the gelding as well as his owner Robert Cole along with trainer David Wells and jockey J.D. Acosta at Laurel Park.

Rapid Redux has won 22 straight starts including a perfect 19-for-19 in 2011. The six-year-old won as the 3-10 favorite on December 13 at Laurel Park for his 19th victory of last year, matching the modern mark for a single year held by Citation and early 20th-century horse Roseben. Citation equaled Roseben's record in 1948, the same year he won the Triple Crown.

"We were able to run seven times in Maryland during the streak, including Timonium, and it is good it worked out that way because I am a Maryland guy," Cole said. "When the country was watching as we closed in on the record he was running here. Even though he trains at Penn National I think people think of him as a Maryland horse. David and I feel that way, too."

Rapid Redux received the Special Eclipse Award at last month's ceremony in Beverly Hills. The honor was for extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing.

"It was fun going to California and talking to all the big stars in racing," "It was a little scary being on the stage. The lights were so bright you couldn't see the crowd but I felt comfortable. I wanted the racing world to know how much I appreciated David's training and how proud I was of the horse.

"He is doing fine on David's farm and we are hoping to extend the streak. If he was a normal horse he would be coming back to race for sure but we don't want to bring him back if he is not the same horse. That is the predicament we have and we don't know where we'll be in May or June when he is ready to go again. We are uncommitted at this time. He has given us everything he's got and you don't want to go to the well one too many times."

The chestnut gelding also was recognized with the 2011 Secretariat 'Vox Populi,' or "Voice of the People," Award. The award is given to a horse "whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the American public and gained recognition for thoroughbred racing."

The gelding began the win streak on December 2, 2010 at Penn National. He broke the record for consecutive wins last November at Mountaineer Park with his 20th straight victory.

Rapid Redux has career earnings of $361,609 with 28 wins in 42 starts. Since being claimed by Cole in October, 2010 at Penn National, the gelding has won 23 of 24 races for $266,074.

"I talked to Penny Chenery (Secretariat's owner) on the phone for 10 or 15 minutes," Cole said. "I got to tell her the story of how I won a three-way shake the night I took him. The night before I claimed a horse at Charles Town for $25,000 and he never ended up winning a race. That's how crazy this story is. You spend $25,000 on a horse who can't win then $6,000 the next night on a horse who wins 22 in a row. He certainly had upside when we claimed him because of the conditions he was eligible for and his early speed, which gave him potential to make us money. Wells transferred him into an unforgettable, priceless horse with a spot in history."

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