10/12/2011 12:51PM

Charles Town: Rapid Redux going for No. 18

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Rapid Redux is two victories away from tying the record for most consecutive wins.

There are three stakes on Friday night’s card at Charles Town, but star billing on the 10-race program is reserved for the blue-collar gelding Rapid Redux, who will continue his quest toward the North American record for consecutive victories in a starter allowance at 1 1/8 miles.

The 5-year-old Rapid Redux has won 17 straight races since last December, two shy of the record shared by 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and the New Mexico-bred mare Peppers Pride. He is part of an eight-horse field in the eighth race, a $5,000 starter allowance with a purse of $25,000.

During his streak, Rapid Redux has won races at seven different tracks, with seven different jockeys, while racing at seven different distances ranging from five furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

J.D. Acosta, who has ridden Rapid Redux four times during the streak – more than any other jockey – once again has the call. They will break from post 3.

LIVE VIDEO: Rapid Redux Goes For His 18th Win

The nine furlongs over Charles Town’s bullring, where Rapid Redux is 3 for 3, may be the horse’s ideal distance.

“We feel like the three-turn races at Charles Town are what fit our horse the best,” Wells said following Rapid Redux’s most recent victory on Sept. 16.

DICK JERARDI: Philadelphia region produces another star horse »

Friday’s race may pose some problems for Rapid Redux, who prefers to race on the lead. There are a couple of other sharp horses with similar running styles, including Fort Erie shipper Working Man Blues, who set the pace through the first six furlongs of a mile and 70-yard first-level optional $16,000 claimer last time out, and Valid Venture, who most recently led wire to wire while winning a $5,000 claimer by 9 1/4 lengths going 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 30.

◗ Comedero, a Grade 3 winner as a 3-year-old last season, tries to make amends for back-to-back losses as an odds-on favorite when he faces seven other sprinters in the 50,000 HBPA Jefferson County Commission Stakes at 4 1/2 furlongs (race 6).

Based in Kentucky with trainer Mike Stidham, Comedero began his 2011 campaign with back-to-back victories against Arkansas-breds at Oaklawn Park and older sprinters in the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial at Delaware Park. He was given time off after fading to sixth in the Wild and Wonderful at Charles Town in June, then surrendered a two-length lead in deep stretch of a high-priced optional claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs at Laurel Park in September.

◗ Cryptolight, winner of the Mountaineer Mile last November and fourth in the Grade 3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows in June, heads a group of five older horses going 1 1/8 miles in the $50,000 HBPA Governor’s Cup (race 5).

◗ The 3-year-old fillies Grand Kisses and Moonlit Malibu, separated by a neck in the Lady Charles Town in mid-June, are rematched in the $50,000 Municipalities Mayors Stakes for fillies and mares going seven furlongs (race 7).

Grand Kisses narrowly got the win in the Lady Charles Town, but Moonlit Malibu has the better recent form. Two starts ago, she cruised to a 7 1/4-length allowance win locally, earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. In contrast, Grand Kisses is 0 for 3 since her Lady Charles Town score. In her only start since late July, she was eighth in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.

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