01/01/2012 8:27PM

Laurel Redux

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The definition of "redux":  Brought back; revived

Last year I wrote in a Laurel Park photo essay, "If you're a racing fan, and you probably are if you're reading this, go to Laurel Park."  Well, this year I'll say it again: go to Laurel.  But this time I'll be more specific: if you can get there, go to Laurel on Wednesday to see Rapid Redux go for his 22nd consecutive victory.

During the afternoon of December 13, the day Rapid Redux won his 21st straight,  the infield tote board featured wonderful videos about famous campaigners of yesteryear - 'Laurel legends' - like All Along and local favorite Little Bold John.  Diehard fans like myself just love the tip-o'-the-hat to what came before, and I imagine many of us will some day look back and say, "Remember when Rapid Redux was racing at Laurel?" 

A truly enthusiastic crowd cheered for Rapid Redux when he returned to the winner's circle.  They packed the background of Rapid Redux's win picture.  They snapped cell phone pictures and tucked winning tickets in their pockets for souvenirs.  Here's hoping that even more fans will cheer him on Wednesday (and don't forget to say hi to Billy Barton, the statue at the front entrance).

Above/below:  Rapid Redux heading to the paddock on December 13, above, and in the paddock, below, trainer David Wells converses with jockey J.D. Acosta.

Above:  Rapid Redux heads from the Laurel paddock to the track.  

Above and below:  Rapid Redux breaks from the gate...on his way to victory #21 (Tamara Faulkner photos)

Above/below:  Rapid Redux wins his 21st straight race - an incredible feat - and, below, J.D. Acosta stops the son of Pleasantly Perfect for the crowd.

Above:  David Wells with his record-winning star on the way to the winner's circle.

Above:  An appreciative pat for the winner.

Above/below:  David Wells, above, and owner Robert Cole, below.

Above:  J.D. Acosta and his daughter Jdianez in the winner's circle.  Acosta has ridden Rapid Redux in seven races during the win streak and will be back aboard on Wednesday.

Above:  Fans love a good racing story, a tough competitor, a winner.  Go to Laurel and see one run on Wednesday.

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February 2011 photo blog about Laurel Park: http://www.drf.com/blogs/visiting-laurel-park

Laurel Park's website, for more information about the track and the race: http://www.laurelpark.com/

Rich C More than 1 year ago
I have owned race horses for 5 years now and can tell you how hard it is to win ONE race. For example, I have a very game Speightstown filly that I claimed in Oct 2009 at the Meadowlands and she has run 15 times for me. A couple weeks ago she finally won her first race for me after many game efforts over the past two years. Riders don't always listen to instructions and that can cost a horse a race. We finally got a rider on her that listened and took her back early in her races and she progressed beautifully, running 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st. I can't imagine winning 3 or 4 races in a row with her, never mind 22! It doesn't matter what level Rapid Redux is running at. All it takes is a stumble, bad ride, wide trip, hot horse running against him, etc. There aren't many ways to win a race but there are a ton of ways to lose one. It is hard as Hell, believe me. So give the horse his due. He is all heart and a real competitor.
ripfinch More than 1 year ago
GM: Why don't you just stay behind a slot machine to make your money. Sounds like you are a gambler, not a fan of the horse. Rapiid Redux, safe trip and best of luck to you.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Take nothing away from this great horse. Its an exceptional accomplishment for any horse at any level to win this many races let alone in a row. These horses give their lives to us on the track whenever they workout or race. He deserves the Horse-of-the-Year title for this accomplishment (forget about the humans behind him) -- especially in a year of mediocrity. Rapid Redux for 2011 Horse of the Year!!!
Mousse More than 1 year ago
Lovely photos as usual Barbara.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
It's nice that RR has won a bunch of races as long as he stays in his "level" and takes advantage of a "fluke" in the conditions. However, they have every right to take advantage....since he is a gelding you would think they would keep racing hime....BUT.... if they run claimers he's "gone" and if the run Allowances he'll be quickly beaten. SO....take it for what it is a nice run and a bit a relief at tracks that run a menu of lower end races.
tfly More than 1 year ago
GM- They didn't exploit the cond. book so much as had friends enter just to make the races go. Everyone knew early in the day on the backside that 2 horses weren't going to run in the CT race. Surprise- 'van trouble' kept them from making the race. i won't even get into my thoughts about the trainer, owner, and things that make miracles happen. BUT, i admire this horse for what he's accomplished. After all, he has no control over his race conditions, or what is done to him.
GPS More than 1 year ago
Even if there are questionable things going on, it is still remarkable, and especially in lower class claiming/alw ranks. I know the business, just hope he finishes sound, and I agree he gets beat this time. Still appreciate Barbara's take on it.
tfly More than 1 year ago
GM- They didn't exploit the cond. book so much as had friends enter just to make the races go. Everyone knew early in the day on the backside that 2 horses weren't going to run in the CT race. Surprise- 'van trouble' kept them from making the race. i won't even get into my thoughts about the trainer, owner, and things that make miracles happen. BUT, i admire this horse for what he's accomplished. After all, he has no control over his race conditions, or what is done to him.
wendy christ More than 1 year ago
We own 1/2 sister to his dam and have been cheering him since his initial start - faithfully following his every accomplishment and celebrating the family ties! Pitched an idea to Peb for TDN Sketch of the Week..... "Blue Collar Boy" (lunch box in hand as he heads off to work (setting / breaking records!) - background filled with the elite record holders (Zenyatta, Pepper's Pride, Cigar, Citation) looking on. Guess it needs to be sponsored / commissioned. Prayers that Kentucky Horse Park / Old Friends will step up and provide forever home / fan access when retirement approaches... thil then, rock on Rapid Redux. Thank you Barbara for capturing this hard knocking gelding, recognizing what these guys do for the sport....... as ever, your work is first rate!
Julie June More than 1 year ago
Oh how I love this set of pictures. The first picture just radiates off the page. How happy I am for his racing connections. Thanks for capturing a very important part of racing history. Shamefully, his last two historic wins were not covered live by our two racing television "networks" and fans had to hustle to watch the races live on line. I understand preexisting contracts, etc... but it still makes me sad that our racing history can not be covered live when it is happening. Great set of pictures Barbara and staff. Thank you!
mal More than 1 year ago
If people actually could win once in a while then the public would care. But racing has destroyed its fan base through greed and corruption. 20 years ago, the streak woulda been a big deal.