This comes in courtesy of the Laurel Park publicity department:
Robert L. Cole, Jr.’s Rapid Redux joins Zenyatta and Peppers Pride as the only horses in North American thoroughbred history to win 19 consecutive races in a row after he out stepped four starter allowance runners this afternoon at Laurel Park.
“I’m kind of freaked out,” said Cole. “It was a little tougher than I was expecting. We got it done and I’m very thankful. This track has such a long stretch and a long run to the turn, I was worried. It wasn’t a desperate performance but we got it done.”
J.D. Acosta sent the 5-year-old gelded son of Pleasantly Perfect straight to the lead in the seven furlong test over the muddy main track. Rapid Redux led throughout and covered the distance in 1:24.07 to win 2-3/4 lengths by over the speedy sprinter Rich Hero. Shordawatyadrink finished third.
“I didn’t want to make any mistakes,” Acosta said. “It was really in intense moment. You don’t want to do anything wrong. You want to be a part of history.”
The winner paid $2.40 and topped a $6.80 exacta and $11.60 trifecta.
“I was really nervous at the eighth pole, it was scary,” said trainer David Wells. “When Jamie Ness’s horse (Rich Hero) came at him I thought he was going to go by him but I give all the credit to the horse.”
Rapid Redux was claimed by Cole, a Baltimore County native, at Penn National for $6,250 on October 13, 2010. Since then, the gelding has won 20 of 21 races with earnings of $237,009. The win-streak began on December 2, 2010 at Penn National. Cole and trainer David Wells have sent their star to seven different tracks, including three previous victories at Laurel Park, at different distances from five-furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.
“I think I’ve owned more than a thousand horses in my day and kind of hope they all improve tremendously and get some kind of joy like this,” added Cole. “You dream about it but typically these dreams don’t come true.”
Acosta is one of seven jockeys to ride Rapid Redux during the streak. It was his fifth victory (fourth in a row) and the 30-year-old is proud to be part of history.
“I’m really excited,” added Acosta. “There are only a few people that feel what I feel.”
Rapid Redux is a perfect 17-of-17 this year. The record for most victories in a year is 19 by Citation in 1948, the year he won the Triple Crown.
“The horse has a tremendous amount of heart,” Wells said. “He feels and sees the horses or he hears them coming and he does not want to be passed. You saw that again today. He heard that horse coming he just dug back in.”
Racing offices in the Mid-Atlantic will be writing races in condition books to entice Cole to attempt to break the record at their tracks. The Maryland Jockey Club racing office has starter allowance races on November 10 (1 mile on the turf), November 11 (5 ½ furlongs on the turf), November 15 (1 mile on the main track) and November 17 (five-furlongs on the main track) in its current condition book. Another condition book will be available for the final month of racing in 2011.
“There seems to be a lot of spots in the next couple of weeks,” Cole said. “I’m not sure where we go. We really got to space out three to four weeks, something along those lines, and see how he comes out of the race.”
“I’d love to break the record and have the Kentucky Horse Park invite him there to retire,” Wells said.
A replay of the race is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7umPUeYVQA.