11/18/2011 4:10PM

Mountaineer: Rapid Redux to shoot for record 20th straight win Monday night

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Rapid Redux’s run for the record books will take place Monday night at Mountaineer Racetrack in West Virginia’s panhandle.

The 5-year-old Rapid Redux, currently tied with 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and the New Mexico-bred mare Peppers Pride with 19 consecutive victories, will bid for his 20th straight win against nine opponents in the eighth race, a $5,000 starter allowance with a purse of $14,900 at a mile.

As a back-up plan, trainer David Wells and owner Robert Cole Jr. also entered Zio Tony, a 4-year-old who is 0 for 4 since he was claimed for $5,000 at Monmouth Park in August. But after scanning the past performances for Monday’s race, Cole said he has given Wells the green light to go ahead and run Rapid Redux for the 18th time this season.

“We entered the second horse just in case we didn’t like the looks of the race,” Cole said. “I like the looks of the race and we are definitely running.”

That includes if Mountaineer’s track comes up wet. The forecast for Chester, W.Va., calls for showers both Sunday and Monday. Earlier this fall, Wells scratched Rapid Redux out of a race at Mountaineer when the track was muddy, saying he didn’t like the surface there when it’s muddy or sloppy.

“I don’t care if they get a foot of snow,” Cole said. “We’re running. The wetter, the better.”

Rapid Redux, claimed for $6,250 in the fall of 2010, will break from post 9 under Mountaineer’s leading rider, Deshawn Parker. He is 3 for 3 at Mountaineer as part of his current winning streak, including a score by nearly 11 lengths over a surface rated good in early May. His three wins at Mountaineer, all at the same distance as Monday night’s race, have come by a collective margin of 23 1/2 lengths.

Although 20 straight wins would be a modern North American record, Thoroughbreds elsewhere have built longer streaks. In Puerto Rico, Camarero won 56 straight from 1953-1955. The Hungarian-bred Kincsem went 54 for 54 in her career from 1876-79 while racing against top competition throughout Europe.