History was made on Monday night at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia when Rapid Redux became the first Thoroughbred in modern history to win a 20th consecutive race. With the win in a Starter Allowance race, Rapid Redux surpasses the likes of Zenyatta, who won 19 in a row, and Peppers Pride, who also got it to 19 straight.
It is interesting to see the reaction of racing fans to what happened on Monday night. Rather than celebrate a tremendous accomplishment by a sturdy racehorse (Rapid Redux has been to the post 18 times this year alone), some have seen fit to try and downgrade what he has done by making direct comparisons to the other names on the all-time streak list. To me, this is woolly thinking at the very least. I can't recall anyone that has made any kind of an argument that Rapid Redux should earn any kind of special place in the annals of racing for winning 20 straight. I did hear Caton Bredar (presumably tongue-in-cheek) make an argument that he could be considered for Horse Of The Year on the Down The Stretch radio show since no one else has come forward as an overwhelming candidate. However, as I said, I think Caton was having a little fun with that one while making a truly serious point that there is no clearcut candidate for Horse Of The Year after a wild and crazy Breeders' Cup, which served to muddle rather than clarify, the picture for that honor.
Why have some fans felt the need to try and denigrate what Rapid Redux has done? Is it still some kind of Zenyatta backlash from her many fans? This could certainly be the case, but anyone that thinks that what Rapid Redux has done has any impact on Zenyatta or Cigar or Citation or any other all-time Thoroughbred accomplishment is mistaken. We are mixing apples and oranges here to the extreme degree. Many of those names of the list of Thoroughbred winning streaks are in the Hall Of Fame and deservedly so. Rapid Redux is nothing more than a wonderful footnote here, to be honest. Yes, he won 20 in a row, and it is marvelous. No other horse in the history of the sport has managed to do this. However, he hasn't done it against the cream of the crop, he is winning against Starter Allowance company. Even in the record-setting race, half of the field scratched and he faced only three foes.
What everyone should be doing is giving a ton of credit to the horse and his connections, owner Robert Cole Jr. and trainer David Wells, for spotting this horse in winnable races where he has been able to get the job done. Every time this horse has gone to gate in 2011 (and the last two starts of 2010), he has made it to the Winner's Circle. Bing Crosby sang a wonderful song many years ago which urged one to, "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". I would suggest to the racing public at large that we need to do this more in all cases, not just this one. However, this seems like as good a place to start as any. Congratulations to Rapid Redux on 20 wins in a row!!
Tune in again on Friday for a look at one of the big races this weekend. I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!