Gratitude Redux

It is time again for my annual Thanksgiving holiday blog.  Perhaps it’s a bit cliché to make a list of things to be thankful for but it’s an important exercise nonetheless.  So here goes.  

Here is my list of things in the horse industry for which I am grateful.

Horseplayers. Again this year, you are at the top of my list.  Without you, there would be no financially viable horse racing business.  Please continue to let your passionate voices be heard by every means available to you.  You make the game better.  I know that ours is not always an easy sport to follow but we at the NTRA will continue to strive every day to give you more to be excited about.  And we will continue to fight in Washington to change antiquated tax laws to help you keep a little more of what you earn for your effort.

Owners.  Without your investment in racing, there would be no competitors. With returns harder and harder to come by on track, owners continue to support the game mainly because they love it.

Horses.  Without you, there would be no horse racing, period.  You are not simply the “product.”  You are literally the life blood of racing.  You are some of the last athletes on the planet who run purely for the thrill of the effort.  And we love you for it.  As an industry, we owe it to you to make your safety our highest priority.

Rapid Redux.  Last but certainly not least, special thanks go to Robert Cole and his 5-year-old horse, Rapid Redux.  On Monday, Rapid Redux recorded his 20th straight victory.  With that win, Cole’s horse eclipsed the modern-day North American record of 19 consecutive wins held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride.  Also, Rapid Redux has won all 18 of his 2011 races, one short of the seasonal record held by Citation. Here’s to Robert Cole and to Rapid Redux. Winning 20 in a row is difficult for any horse.  Rapid Redux may not be a stakes horse and perhaps his connections are not high profile, but their success underscores an important point - that just about anyone can claim a horse for a modest price and enjoy priceless moments and thrills.  For that, I am truly thankful.

That’s my list.  What’s on yours?  Let me hear from you.


Leave a Comment:

Deb C

A wonderful list to be thankful for, Alex.  I'm so glad you mentioned Rapid Redux.  He and his connections really make one believe anyone can have the thrill of a lifetime.  I would add only one more; I'm thankful to all of the men and women who spend countless hours and money to be sure our wonderful athletes have a place to go when they can't race or breed anymore.  

23 Nov 2011 1:30 PM

Kudos and thanks to Rapid Redux and his connections!

23 Nov 2011 8:49 PM

Thank you for reminding us that we need to be grateful for the creatures that give us so much pleasure.  It would be wonderful if Rapid Redux won some kind of award or if there is a new Eclipse Award set up for a horse in the lower ranks.

25 Nov 2011 9:14 AM

Thanks for your article nicely said. Thanks for  and to this horse and all his connections

25 Nov 2011 9:22 PM

Alex:  Thanks for sharing your list of gratitude and for giving Rapid Redux the credit which he so richly deserves.  As you pointed out, regardless of his lack of stakes wins, he has acccomplished a great feat and deserves ALL the credit that the industry can give him.  His feat has not only reminded so many of the possibility of reaching their dream, but, has also reminded us that regardless of a horse's status (ie. stakes, graded stakes, etc)...they ALL give their ALL (and ask for little in return..and we never hear of them as athletes whining that they have "bumped their elbow or bruised a body part"! ..There is no "sideline" during their game, for them!)

It was, also, great to hear you recognize the horseplayer.  I think the "everyday joe" often feels forgotten by the industry and it is true...we are the real fans...the ones who enjoy the sport for the fun and love of the horses!  I have often is time that the industry listens to the "little guy" who works hard; goes to the track and plays with the hope of "hitting"; and almost always has the philosophy that "a bad day at the track is still better than a good day anywhere else".  We go for the "love"...not to show off our hats or cute dresses or nice suits...Heck !..we wear jeans!

The owners:  it is a well known fact that not every owner can afford the million(s)-dollar purchase of a horse or the costly trainer like Pletcher, Baffert, Asmussen, etc..but the owners do love the sport and HOPEFULLY love their horse(s).

All in all, I think we can all be thankful for racing even in an "off year"; even when we take a loss at the window..because the bottom line is we love it because of the horses.

Rapid Redux has just given us, all, one more reason to love the "game".  Best wishes to him and his connections in the future...may he stay safe and happy!

27 Nov 2011 8:23 AM
Mike Relva


Then why not dedicate a special award for RR? He deserves it. Do you think it's just that TVG didn't even televise his last race?

I don't!

04 Dec 2011 5:42 PM
Linda in Texas

Every year it seems there are heroes and heroines. For me since last year on a lesser track i began to become attached to a special fella named 'Rapid Redux' and it continued all the way thru to his 20th win in a row. My respect for claimers will never cease.

Proud to pieces of you 'Rapid Redux' you are my hero for 2011!

08 Dec 2011 12:31 PM

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