A Rapid Redux Redux

It’s safe to say Rapid Redux picked a good year to set the modern-day North American consecutive win record, because it has been one of those years: Good horses, good races, but no standouts. These things happen in horse racing; you move on and hope for something better the following year.

So a former claimer that feasted on starter allowance foes is one of the best stories of the racing year. There’s nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately the shot-takers made their presence felt online and through Twitter.

First things first: He won. Let's move and hope he sets another record.

People in this industry love to make comparisons even when they’re not based in reality. Yes, Rapid Redux isn’t Peppers Pride or Zenyatta. First of all, he’s male and they’re female. Secondly, Peppers Pride was a New Mexico-bred stakes filly, and Zenyatta a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year.

But there appears to be some dislike for the fact a horse claimed for $6,250 last year now solely holds the consecutive win record. That’s tough to comprehend because Rapid Redux has taken nothing away from the two females with 19 consecutive victories. It’s a case of apples and oranges.

What the gelding has done, however, is set himself apart, and not just because he won one more consecutive race. It’s the manner in which he accomplished it.

Rapid Redux has won 20 races in a row in less than a year’s time; the streak started in early Deceember 2010. So through his Nov. 21 victory he had won a race about every 17.75 days. This is phenomenal, no matter what the class level.

Peppers Pride and Zenyatta won their races over the span of four racing seasons. Obviously you can’t find a state-bred stakes or graded stakes every 18 days, but Rapid Redux and his connections have a made a point, perhaps unwittingly: Sound horses can race frequently at their given level.

Picking spots for horses is a big part of the game, and owner Robert Cole Jr. and trainer David Wells did it masterfully during the record run. They had a little help of course, but that’s also part of the game.

Also, starter allowance races for horses that have started for a particular claiming price within a certain period of time usually are deceptively tough. There are individuals who excel at spotting horses ripe for these protected conditions and milking it. Credit goes to those who do.

After the gelding’s 20th win, Cole was asked about the thought and planning that went into each race. He gave the horse credit.

“We’ve all done a really good job, but the horse especially,” Cole said. “We’ve very blessed.”

There was some cherry-picking of spots, but the same could be said for Peppers Pride and Zenyatta. Again, it doesn’t diminish their accomplishments. Could they have raced more? If sound, absolutely, but we all know the common pattern these days: Train more, run less.

That’s what makes Rapid Redux so refreshing. His races are basically his workouts.

If there is any downside it’s the relative lack of strong industry promotion of the horse’s accomplishments. This is United States racing, which is about competition and gambling at all levels. The fact Rapid Redux is a glorified claiming horse shouldn’t matter. And his connections always make themselves available for interviews, so that's no excuse.

Also, the Nov. 21 race at Mountaineer somehow wasn’t shown live on TVG or HRTV. This is complicated. The networks make financial deals with racetracks to broadcast races, and those that don’t—well, that’s for another blog post. But deal or no deal, that race should have had maximum exposure.

Some of those who vote for the Eclipse Awards have indicated, perhaps jokingly, they will vote for Rapid Redux for Horse of the Year. He may get a few votes, but more likely he’ll be recognized by the industry in another way.

It’s funny Rapid Redux set the record at Mountaineer, the West Virginia track that was home to the late Dale Baird, who holds the all-time record for training wins at 9,445. A few years before his death, Baird was given a Special Eclipse Award for his accomplishments, basically a bone with no meat.

Parochialism won’t deny Rapid Redux an Eclipse Award; the honor is meant to recognize accomplishments at the highest level in racing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it probably is keeping the all-time leading trainer with about 3,000 more victories than the second in line out of the Racing Hall of Fame.

For those of us that truly enjoy racing at all levels at all racetracks, Rapid Redux is a “horse of the year.” It’s all relative. And that’s what makes horse racing great.

He won. Give credit where it’s due.

65 Comments

Leave a Comment:

aspradling

Well said Tom. I have a few favorites in lower levels of racing and keep track of Guerrilla Warfare in Puerto Rico. He is rocking it there,16 for 23 on the board. Not to mention that I started following Amazombie a few years ago, then he was claimed for like $20k and is now a BC winner.

23 Nov 2011 9:40 AM
Old Horse Lover

Great article. It flies in the face of the so-called horsemen of today. They couldn't do it no matter what they paid for a horse. They cannot keep them sound enough to run 20 races in a lifetime much less do it in a year.

Rapid Redux reminds me of the old-time horses. Too bad there aren't more like him running today. He has heart, soul, and determination that you just don't see much of lately.

23 Nov 2011 9:44 AM
Pedigree Ann

The all-time, all-world winning streak belongs to Camarero, who won 56 in a row in 1953 through 1955 in Puerto Rico. He was the top horse on the island, winner of their Triple Crown and twice Horse of the Year. But he stayed a big fish in a small pond, never leaving his homebase for greater challenges. Like Rapid Redux or Pepper's Pride.

Unbeaten streaks can be the result of a top horse meeting all challenges, like Citation or Cigar, but an unbeaten streak in and of itself is not an indication of a top quality horse. And that's okay. Embrace Rapid Redux for what he is; a horse who loves to race, never letting an off day bother him, or finding a track he hates. A horse who has found his niche.

23 Nov 2011 10:00 AM
Mike Relva

Nice work Tom and I agree. Too many find it easier to bash a horse than give credit. RR deserves credit for what he accomplished.

23 Nov 2011 10:21 AM
Lydia

Yay Tom!!!!  I wish people would stop trying to make comparisons where there are none to be made and just accept that what Rapid Redux has done is a tremendous accomplishment. It's too bad racing's own TV channels chose not to cover his race except with a delayed rerun.

23 Nov 2011 10:40 AM
Riva

I understand about the TV commitments/deals, but I think racing really missed the opportunity to draw in the general public by not broadcasting his race. Horses like him are the backbone of the industry. Kudos to RR and his connections.

23 Nov 2011 10:44 AM
Deltalady

I'm one of those who thinks it is absolutely wonderful that we have a horse to celebrate for ANY reason that is POSITIVE for the sport! I would crawl over broken glass to see Zenyatta in person. Her own connections have been very generous in their praise of Rapid's accomplishment, going so far as to put a paragraph in her recent diary congratulating him (there have been others in earlier posts, as well).  As you say, there is no reason anyone should think this horse or his connections are trying in any way to compare their horse to Z.

Zenyatta's accomplishments stand in their own right, and she will always be who she is and her achievements don't really need explaining or defending. Her spotlight is plenty big to share with any and all horses who strive to rise above the pack and be something special.

Rapid Redux is very special. It's a wonderful thing for our sport, it's a cause for celebration. Thanks for a great article and for bringing out many of the points I have made recently in my posts on Facebook and other venues.

GO RAPID REDUX!!!

23 Nov 2011 10:49 AM
Needler in Virginia

Lovely piece, Tom. Glad others are as tickled as I am about what the horse just did. Rapid Redux is the feel-good horse for 2011. Raced often, raced well, stayed sound, has endurance AND won 20 races in a row.

Exactly what about all that is to be belittled? SO WHAT if he's a "bottom-level claimer." I seem to remember a couple of fairly nice bottom-level claimers. ... Do the names Seabiscuit and John Henry ring any bells?

Since the industry is fond of saying that the lower-level horses are the ones that keep the tracks open and operating, why not shout RR's name to the heavens? This is EXACTLY the kind of good press racing needs, and not one channel covered it. Oh wait. TVG DID announce that the horse had won by 5, I think, but that's it.

And Ann, while I usually agree with your posts, I think your statement that "an unbeaten streak is not in and of itself an indication of a top quality horse" is a bit disingenuous. Of course the races were cherry-picked. Whose aren't? Of course he hasn't beaten a graded winner. There are loads of horses that are solid runners at mid- and bottom levels who have never even MET a graded stakes winner, but somehow they muddle through and keep on running.

A Rapid Redux is a gift and he, and his connections, should be applauded. They have accomplished what no other horse managed to do in a VERY long time. AND if we're talking about the all-time records, Camarero did his racing in Puerto Rico. And I'm NOT knocking Puerto Rico, but if we're qualifying, that has to be considered.

You are right that RR has found his niche, but his streak should be given the credit it's due. It's damned hard to keep a horse fit, sound, running and winning over a year with literally no breaks or time off for a headache.

Three cheers for Rapid Redux; I hope he kicks butt and takes names in the Claiming Crown.

Happy Turkey to all, along with safe trips.

23 Nov 2011 11:03 AM
Deltalady

P.S. It was absolutely a disgrace and the highest level of stupidity that HRTV or TVG did not show this race! HRTV has been running his races in the past, so it wasn't as if they couldn't "slide it in" among their easily adjustable format!

Thank goodness for DRF and some other FREE preview sites that did carry it. I along with many others publicized DRF's free live streaming in our corner of the world and Internet, and many took advantage of this. ESPN also ran it, according to some reports.

I was astonished that there were NO REPORTERS, none, nada, on hand to interview Cole and Wells and all the Rapid Redux connections. Just incredible. I hope the connections won't take that as an indication of fan interest, because we all do care and would have loved to see some interviews after the historic run.

I hope those who were no-shows for this will rethink their position and that the connections will grant interviews and overlook the ignorance of the so-called "racing insiders"!!! What a bunch of bums!

BTW, there are those who have spoken kindly -- you, of course, even DRF's crusty old Mike Watchmaker, the BloodHorse handicappers. ... There have been some notable exceptions who have gone out of their way to report positively on the run-up to the record. I really do think that the negative comments have come from relatively new fans who really want to "over-protect" what they perceive is somehow besmirching Zenyatta and Peppers Pride.

Those of us who know better just have to be patient and explain such is not the case. If anything, it points up their achievements even more and enhances their standing in any discussion about Rapid Redux. He's going to go for Citation's record of 20 races and 19 wins in a single season. I say, go for it!!!

23 Nov 2011 11:09 AM
GJU

I agree with your comments about this race getting more coverage. I tried to find the race on HRTV and TVG live, but it wasn't happening. Unbelievable. I know DRF on Facebook was supposed to be streaming it live, but when I clicked on the link I didn't see it, so yeah, it would have been convenient to see the race LIVE while it was happening, and either or both HRTV and TVG should have shown it. Wouldn't it be great for the industry if Rapid Redux got Horse of the Year for his accomplishments this year? What a story that would be!

23 Nov 2011 11:10 AM
Jason Shandler

Very well written Tom. This horse's win streak should not be compared to Zenyatta's, just as her win streak should not have been compared to Citation or Cigar.

23 Nov 2011 12:05 PM
Karen in Texas

Really nice article, Tom! Rapid Redux absolutely should be recognized by the industry in some way at the Eclipse Awards program. Although HRTV did not show the race at the time it was run, they DID broadcast it at ~9:25 P.M. CST--that's when I accidentally found it there. Again, great story!

23 Nov 2011 12:12 PM
mferradosa

Isn't the time now that RR has broken the record of most victories in a row we see him competing with higher-level horses? Wouldn't it be worth the risk?

Amazombie was a claimer and now is a BC champion. Who could expect that?

GO FOR IT RR!!!!

23 Nov 2011 1:06 PM
steve from st louis

Tom, great work. I disagree with Jason in that a win streak is a win streak. In fact, I would propose that winning start after start with a claimer is a lot tougher than winning in stakes company. Low-ball claimers are a lot less consistant than high-quality stakes runners and keeping a claimer sound is exponentially tougher. This horse must have the heart of a champion. In fact, he does.

23 Nov 2011 1:46 PM
slee

Nicely written. More power to Rapid Redux and his team that they have found his strengths and have played to them.  

Most race horses never run in a Grade 1 event let alone win one, and the horses in the claiming and ungraded events try just as hard as the world-beaters.

Thanks to "RR" for A Year to Remember!

23 Nov 2011 1:59 PM
JerseyTom

The horse is now attempting to tie (19) and break (20) Citation's mark for most wins in a calendar year. ... He now has 18 in a row for 2011. ... There is talk of him racing in the Claiming Crown Dec. 3 in New Orleans, but don't be surprised if he stays close to home and stays the course--it has worked perfectly so far this year. Besides, if I owned him and lived in Maryland, I'd love to see him run at Laurel. ... Rapid Redux and his connections really owe us nothing at this point.

23 Nov 2011 2:05 PM
Terry M.

I saw the race on HPI TV. I think it was tape delayed by some 15-20 minutes, but it was shown. And he was impressive, winning easily.

I honestly think he SHOULD be Horse of the Year, since he has done what no stakes horse has been able to: race often, win every time out and stay sound and eager to run. Isn't the award supposed to recognize accomplishments in a single year? And it isn't called Stakes-Winning Horse of the Year. Just Horse of the Year.

I know the purists will go by who beat who, and that is one way to look at it. But he represents the grass roots of horse racing, and when you take money out of the equation, he has done more than any other Thoroughbred running in 2011.

23 Nov 2011 2:13 PM
AnneM

I turned on TVG Monday night expecting to watch the race and was rather taken aback that not only did they did not show it but barely mentioned it. Mostly they were showing harness racing; they could have easily fit the race in.

Glad I was able to watch it online.

23 Nov 2011 3:04 PM
mz

Pedigree Ann: Gotta blow her horn again: Kincsem. Won 54 races from 54 starts in the 1880s I think. High -lass stakes wins.

Not to take anything away from Rapid Redux.

I always wondered how he wasn't claimed. Kudos to his connections.

23 Nov 2011 3:21 PM
LINDA MARIE

RAPID REDUX IS A PHENOMENON AT HIS LEVEL AND DESERVES SOME KIND OF ECLIPSE AWARD EVEN IF IF MEANS CREATING A SPECIAL CATEGORY. IN A LACKLUSTER YEAR HE HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING HORSE OF THE YEAR!

23 Nov 2011 4:24 PM
Don in Massachusetts

Great article, Tom.

I congratulate Rapid Redux and his connections for this great achievement, and I am hoping that the Eclipse voters will insist upon a Special Eclipse Award for this horse and his accomplishments; but I am not holding my breath.

Like many of the commentors here, I, too, am very disgusted with TVG and HRTV and their lack of coverage.  I dislike TVG so much that I will remove it from my cable line-up; in my opinion, it is a terrible network.

23 Nov 2011 5:43 PM
Zen's Auntie

I love this story, I love this horse. This is a working man's horse dream, feel good, good for racing and Thoroughbreds in general story if there ever has been one.

The fine accomplishments of one horse trained by a man in no way diminish the accomplishments of any other horse or their connections.  

IMO Any horse that can pull off 20 in a row is a "great" race horse. If it were easy certainly it wouldn't be a record and we wouldnt be celebrating it this way.  

I hope and pray he stays healthy and this goes on.

ONE more thing - a race every 18 days folks - back-to-back winning -

No secret, I adore the Big Mare and Cigar and Citation and John Henry, too, and throw in Black Caviar and my new idol Frankel, but none of them ever ran a race every 18 or so days for year while winning them all.

Its a different level to be sure but lets gape and say dang for Rapid Redux right now, he really is something.

23 Nov 2011 6:23 PM
Tiz Herself

Rapid Redux, like Peppers Pride, is inspirational that you can have a horse like that at any level.

Rapid Redux gave us a year to remember. And coming on the edge of Zenyatta tying with Pepper's Pride was exactly what this sport needed.

He is a horse I won't forget.

23 Nov 2011 8:07 PM
Tiz Herself

And yes it was a missed opportunity that there was not a whole lot of media coverage of this race. I had to come online too as being in Alberta, horse racing isn't televised or mentioned until the Canadian Derby or the Kentucky Derby comes around, if that. It would be neat to see a commemorative magazine issued on him or something. I don't really know the full story of this horse and would love something to have of him like that.

23 Nov 2011 8:13 PM
Sharon

Thank you for the article, wonderful.  I still have a smile on my face every time I think of Rapid Redux winning that 20th race!  Claimer or not, he deserves just as much attention and acclaim as the stakes horses.  He is all heart!  And, thank you Blood-Horse for the video!  This race should have been on TV for all to see.

23 Nov 2011 8:46 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

First of all I want to give a big thank you to Rapid Redux and his connections. Having a horse be consistent and win at any level is a great accomplishment. We should all celebrate the accomplishments of our contemporary winning streak-holders; Rapid Redux, Zenyatta, Peppers Pride, Cigar, Mister Frisky, and of course the amazing Citation. Abroad we have Black Caviar and her undefeated career to follow. A horse like Kincsem will probably never be seen again. Horses now rarely run 54 races in a lifetime let alone winning them consecutively.

We recently have had a few years with some exciting win streaks, but anyone who has been a fan of racing for more than 20 years knows how rare win streaks are. In the 1970s Triple Crowns were easier to come by than consecutive wins.

We should all celebrate the 20 consecutive winning races of Rapid Redux for what they are--exciting and great for the sport!

Jason (Sour Grapes) Shandler, shame on you for yet another nasty dig at a mare who has brought so any fans, positive interest, and thrills to the sport. Her team has always taken the high road. You could learn from them.

23 Nov 2011 8:50 PM
Mike Relva

Jason

You're joking, right?

23 Nov 2011 9:00 PM
Gary Tasich

I agree and salute him. But I think we have to keep his achievement in perspective when people start talking Eclipse or VOX POPULI awards while putting him in the same league as Zenyatta or Citation. What if he wins 30 in a row? Kind of minimizes what he has done. Hmmmmm?

His last race was 1:40.04 and Cox might as well have called it a workout in company when he said, “The race came up a little soft, especially with all the scratches so it was kind of a breather for him. It didn’t really seem that he ran that hard.”

Were they races or "Workouts In Company"? Viewing it from another angle, it makes you pause and reconsider. Are we really enamored with him or just lacking an alternative?

23 Nov 2011 9:29 PM
rorschach1992

My hypothetical vote for HOY actually would go to Rapid Redux. He has captivated me in a way none of the world-beaters and other numerous graded-stakes winners have. Once Blind Luck had her unfortunate turn of events, he was the top story for me. It would have been Havre De Grace but people ludicrously tried to place her on a higher pedestal than Zenyatta and that ruined it for me. In a year when injuries claimed a lot of the promising 3YO horses, and the older males couldn't sort themselves out, Rapid Redux stayed healthy and consistent, which none of the older horses or 3YOs can claim. Rapid Redux is the HOY as far as I'm concerned.

24 Nov 2011 1:32 AM
oldtimer

I will give all the credit to the connections of Rapid Redux for managing so well in picking the right spot for the horse so far. Now that they got the record, isn't time to stop and give the horse a well-deserved rest? I watched his last race and  the way he acted in the gate, I think he is trying to tell them that's enough for the year".

24 Nov 2011 6:58 AM
Linda in Texas

Thanks Tom for a well-deserved article for Rapid Redux.

"Rapid Redux has won a race every 17.75 days since beginning his streak." Says it all for me. Now someone figure out the reason he was able to stay sound that long and run that often. That is what intrigues me. I know he has a strong heart to win, but it takes a lot more physically that often.

Happy Thanksgiving.

24 Nov 2011 7:10 AM
BerttheWonderHorse

Great article, thanks!  Shame on them for not broadcasting that race on TV for all to see.  It would have been great for horse racing.  Considering his accomplishments, Rapid Redux should be celebrated.  He gets my HOY vote.  At the very least, he should be recognized in a significant way at Eclipse Awards time.

24 Nov 2011 9:07 AM
Tiz Herself

This horse, like Lava Man, Amazombie, and correct me if I am wrong with Ever a Friend, or any other horse that I can think of that was claimed and turned around to achieve more than thought possible, is inspiring. One day I would like to own a Thoroughbred or two, however, I know the possibility of being able to spend millions to do it just buying a horse is not feasible. RR and all them make me believe it may be possible at some point in time.

You can add Furthest Land, Gran Estreno, Stradivinsky, Mission Approved, Calibrachoa, Pure as Gold, and Separate Forest.

They are inspiring for me especially that way.

24 Nov 2011 9:18 AM
yani

Thank you for a wonderful article, we watched on XpressBet.  He was impressive.  

24 Nov 2011 11:04 AM
Drugfree

This is a well-bred horse, out of a Storm Cat mare, and female family of Northern Dancer. This family continues to produce top class international runners like French Lady (NZ) AJC Oaks, Be Like Mike, etc.

24 Nov 2011 6:28 PM
MRO

Rapid Redux is the story of 2011!

24 Nov 2011 8:49 PM
Paula Higgins

Nice to see someone in the industry give this horse the credit he is due. He should get some kind of Eclipse Award and frankly, I would be ready to hand him HOTY. What he did was phenomenal on any level. Jason Shandler, enough already about Zenyatta. You have never, not even for one minute, given her the credit she was due. To use this blog to take a shot at her is unworthy of you and Blood-Horse. Frankly, I think you are obsessed with trying to tear her down at every opportunity because you don't like her connections. It's wrong on every level to attack a horse so relentlessly.

24 Nov 2011 9:45 PM
Mister Frisky

Props to you Fuzzy Corgi for mentioning Señor Frisky. 13 in a row on the Island. 3 in a row at Santa Anita. Unbridled was fortunate that Mister Frisky was ill in the 1990 Derby or history would be quite different.

24 Nov 2011 10:19 PM
LuckyLady

There is talk of Facebook that Rapid Redux deserves the VOX Populi award given out by Penny Chenery.  I totally agree that he deserves that award.  Voting starts sometime in early October.  Hopefully all of you will vote for Rapid Redux.

25 Nov 2011 12:05 AM
ksweatman9

This year Rapid Redux looks to be the ONLY horse who really deserves horse of the year honors. The horse is running on his level and beating the tar out of all the competition. To compare him to Zenyatta is daft, we all know that, but it's good to give the gelding credit. He has got more heart than a lot of bluebloods who are running at the top level. What he has accomplished is a big deal, not just for a horse of his caliber, but for any horse. Kudos to you Redux, I'm a fan.

25 Nov 2011 4:05 AM
fanofallthree

Rapid Redux for the Vox Populi award instituted by Penny Chenery.

He's the Rocky Balboa of TB racing.

25 Nov 2011 8:17 AM
Rachel O

Paula,

I agree with what you say about the sour Jason and his continual jabs at Zenyatta. (He is suffering from acid reflux!) Whatever point he was trying to make about her has long since faded away. No one is interested in hearing from him on that subject and it is a waste of space in a column about Rapid Redux, a true hero on the racetrack.

I also agree that Rapid Redux should be HOTY. He has brought more excitement to racing than any of the other horses under consideration. His is a name we will remember. Not so the others under consideration.

25 Nov 2011 12:09 PM
JorgeG

Thoroughbred Times had it live.  Agree with Jason in this one.  I vote for Rapid Redux getting the "Secretariat" award, the one Zenyatta won last year.

25 Nov 2011 12:19 PM
A Horsey Canuck

Fabulous article, Tom and such great comments from everyone. IMHO, Rapid Redux is the "working man" of the racing world. If you're talking bloodlines, we're talking Storm Cat, which means we're talking Terlingua, which means we're talking about. ... oh, that would be Secretariat! Another big red horse has just given us some great thrills. I feel fortunate to have witnessed the accomplishments of them both. I hope RR takes the Claiming Crown and then gets a bit of a rest. Give credit where credit is due! I'm a diehard Zenyatta fan, and nothing can take from her what she accomplished. If she could speak (and she does through Dottie), Z would be the first to say "Well done, RR!". My 2 Canadian cents!

25 Nov 2011 12:35 PM
Mike Relva

PAULA HIGGINS:

That's exactly correct! He should be thanking Zenyatta and connections for the large number of hits his blogs enjoyed while she ran.

25 Nov 2011 1:09 PM
Slew

Nicely said Needler.

I've heard all the knocks against the level at which RR runs.  It's simply unacceptable to knock a horse who has done so well.

In a year with absolutely no standout stars, we DO have ONE. His name is Rapid Redux.  It seems to me the only requirement for HOY is that a horse runs once in the U.S.  There is no qualification that states it must be a G1 horse.  Here, we have a little gelding with 20 staight wins within one year's time.  

What a PR heaven it would be for smaller operations to find themselves in the limelight!  What better PR for horse racing in general?  As far as I am concerned, Rapid Redux is THE star of 2011, and deserves to be recognized as such.  I don't think Horse of the Year is that incredible.  RR is the only horse who earned it this year.

25 Nov 2011 2:31 PM
marirose smith

Thank you for the wonderful comments and support for Rapid.  He is an incredible horse and deserves the credit; he has won 20 in a row and he beat the record, and as the announcer said at Mountainer no, disrespect to Zenyatta or Peppers Pride but he alone holds the record.  As for the industry it missed the boat.  Here is a horse that promotes racing in the most positive way and no coverage was done.  This business needs more owners and here is a horse that says anyone can get in and be successful. Nothing has been done to capitalize on his streak and record.  

25 Nov 2011 8:29 PM
pepper

Thank-you RR, you have the heart of a champion in my book. He might have been a claimer but he is pretty well bred and if you look at the sires of the horses in his last race they are familar names, too. I will be cheering him on in his next race on 12/3.

25 Nov 2011 9:16 PM
Bellwether

N ITS PRESENT STATE "THE GAME" COULD NOT PROMOTE SEX N A PRISON!!!...THA'TS ABOUT TO CHANGE..."THE MEDIA" CAN BEE SO GOOFEE!!!...STAY TUNED BABY!!!...ty...

26 Nov 2011 3:28 AM
Bellwether

"THE GAME" HAS ITS TONY STEWART...IT JUST DON'T NOE IT YET!!!...ty...

26 Nov 2011 3:39 AM
breeze10

Tom: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! "ALL"..well said..and CANDIDLY!  It is so refreshing to read an article that gives a horse and his connections the credit which they deserve.  (Sadly, it seems, all to often, articles are written giving credit to those who are not TRUE accomplishers, but, those who are "stabbing around" trying to accomplish or those who are past accomplishers who for whatever reason seem to be failing at consistent accomplishment).   It seems too often that those involved in racing or the racing media are focusing on those with "the money" who can easily afford to enter their horses in the graded stakes.  Has it occurred to anyone that maybe RR's connections may not have those kind of BIG dollars?!!  Such should not reduce the glory due to Rapid Redux, just as the comparisons should not reduce his accomplishments.  

True, it was/is baffling that TVG and HRTV did not find the race to be important enough to broadcast. I was thankful that DRF videoed the race live.

No matter how one looks at it...Rapid Redux deserves credit for his racing accomplishments (and I hope he has more). He has done quite a bit to restore "the little peoples'" faith and interest in racing. Perhaps the racing industry and those voting for HOY should consider THAT accomplishment, as well.

Best of luck to Rapid Redux and to his connections regardless of how the voting goes. YOU ARE HOY in my book for so very MANY REASONS!

Also...how sad (even pathetic) that Mr. Baird was never given the credit that he so truly earned. (Again, it's all about money). Those involved in the racing industry need to wake up and smell the "REAL" roses! In my opinion there is NO reason Mr. Baird should not have been or should not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He clearly earned it!

26 Nov 2011 11:05 AM
breeze10

SLEW: You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Very well said!

26 Nov 2011 11:25 AM
Paula Higgins

Agreed Rachel O and Mike Relva! I think we all agree they need to acknowledge Rapid Redux with some award. C'mon Eclipse members, lets get this rolling!

26 Nov 2011 8:36 PM
Bellwether

NOCK NOCK...HOOS THERE???...A BUNCH OF DUMB A$$E$...ty...

27 Nov 2011 2:13 AM
bossypants

Mr. Cole re-claimed Rapid Redux I believe in October 2010; the article stated he realized he didn't want that lovely horse to get away from him. I do believe he said, "I love that horse." RR deserves so much better. I'd love to see him run against just one of the titans. He reminds me of Seabiscuit.    

27 Nov 2011 4:41 AM
slobah

Rapid Redux is the Cal Ripken of racing.

27 Nov 2011 9:23 AM
Longshot

Anything that puts a positive spin on horse racing is a good thing. I don't care if he's a grade one winner or not, he's good for racing. Kudos to his connections for keeping him healthy and happy during this amazing win streak!

27 Nov 2011 11:10 AM
meme

No one and nothing was keeping me from being at Mountaineer to witness this wonderful horse win his way into the history books. (Bought a $2 win ticket to keep as a memento!)

I couldn't have been more disappointed at the tiny crowd present to cheer him on.

The track did nothing to promote the event...next to last race on the card which went off 10-15 minutes late - This was a golden opportunity for free advertising to attract horse betters and slot players alike, but nothing! MTR could of at least moved the race from the 8th to the 2nd or 4rd since it was a work night for most...Only thing I saw was a 2 paragraph "mention" next to last page in the Pittsburgh Trib sports section: This should have been front page of the sports section!

Sadder was the track's horse community's NO SHOWs; between the trainers/owners/grooms it should have been standing room only.

But ahhhh, what a horse!!!

27 Nov 2011 4:02 PM
robinm

Great article and well-deserved recognition for a horse who does what he does very well, with a lot of help from his human team that know exactly where to place him. But to say he deserves HOY?  No way. A horse needs to run in top company to be considered for that award. How many times have I heard that Zenyatta should have been HOY in 2009 because she could have beaten Rachel easily? How many of this year's contenders could Rapid Redux beat, hmmmm? A streak in and of itself does not, or should not determine HOY. And I don't say this to take anything away from RR's accomplishments.

27 Nov 2011 5:15 PM
El Kabong

As someone who hails from a track at this level of racing, it is nice to see R & R getting some due attention. This horse reminds me of Russell Baze and if I'm not mistaken, he received a Special Eclipse Award for his relentless pursuit of the winner's circle, albeit at a lower level. There is a precedent for this situation, I just hope there is justice!

28 Nov 2011 10:33 AM
Old Timer

Tom, well said that this is a case of apples and oranges. Many get all worked up that some people seem to be "comparing" RR and Cigar or Zenyatta or Citation. However for any horse to just stay healthy for that many races is a major accomplishment. As many have pointed out, these claiming "working-class heroes" are the horses who entertain us year in and year out at tracks all across the country. He may not deserve a conventional Eclipse but should be recognized in some way.

By the way, the reason that the horse hasn't been claimed is that he now runs strictly in starter allowances. Thus he has been able to race at the same level all through the streak.

28 Nov 2011 1:06 PM
smarie

Wonderful article. Some of the most elitest people in sports are horse racing people. I believe Rapid Redux would make a very deserving Horse of the Year. He doesn't know he wasn't running in "top company." He just goes out and wins, every time. Not many "top company" horses have done that with the exception of Zenyatta. Snobbery again. It always amazes me when people will dismiss a horse's accomplishments because of disdain for where they race, their connections, or the animal's breeding. If you enjoy horse racing, you should be enjoying Rapid Redux's accomplishments. If you can't appreciate this wonderful animal, then your sour attitude is part of the problem racing is facing these days. I congratulate this wonderful horse's connections. I hope he stays sound and healthy. I would love to see someone televise his next start. This year's star is Rapid Redux. He IS the top company.

28 Nov 2011 1:06 PM
deb

I would pay the same amount to see Rapid Redux run as I would Pepper or Z. He is a champion and has earned the title. Kudos to this wonderful gelding!

28 Nov 2011 2:47 PM
Arts and Letters

I think any HOTY votes for Rapid Redux aren't so much a vote for him (wonderful though he is) as a vote against all the "top-class" horses this year who couldn't put together more than a couple of wins each.  I think durability is worth at least a vote or two.

29 Nov 2011 1:17 AM
Pedigree Ann

Now the 'news' folks are saying that 19 wins in a year (Citation) is some sort of record North American record and Rapid Redux is going to try to tie it. NOT. Donald Macdonald won 22 races in 1913, and as far as I can tell, Palmetto, Charleston, Belmont, Pimlico, Havre De Grace, and Laurel were/are all tracks in the continental United Stakes. And Donald Macdonald was a stakes horse - 3rd in the Belmont at 3, winner of two stakes races during his 22-in-a-year run of wins.

09 Dec 2011 11:09 AM

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