Updated on 11/22/2011 11:18AM

Mountaineer: Rapid Redux will have to overcome post, pace to set record

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Rapid Redux will attempt to set a modern day record of 20 straight wins Monday night at Mountaineer.

If Rapid Redux extends his winning streak to a modern-day United States record 20 races Monday night at Mountaineer Racetrack, he will truly have to earn it.

Although the 5-year-old Rapid Redux has dominated the $5,000 starter allowance ranks throughout the mid-Atlantic region en route to tying the record shared by 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and the New Mexico-bred mare Peppers Pride, there are several potential stumbling blocks in his path when he faces nine other older horses going a mile in Monday’s eighth race.

First, Mountaineer’s leading jockey, Deshawn Parker, must be able to work out a good trip after breaking Rapid Redux from post 9. As might be expected at a distance with a short run to the first turn, posts 9 and 10 are a combined 13 for 205 (6 percent) this season in one-mile dirt routes at Mountaineer.

LIVE VIDEO: Watch Rapid Redux attempt to break Zenyatta's record »

Rapid Redux also could face early pace pressure from as many as five of his opponents.

“I’m not crazy about post 9,” admitted trainer David Wells. “But Deshawn Parker is an excellent rider and I’m sure he’ll be able to get him out of there in a good positiion.”

Wells said he looked at the past performances and has respect for horses such as Jemaru, a three-time winner of starter allowances this season at Mountaineer; stretch-out sprinter Disco Indy, who owns a 5-for-7 record in 2011; and Copper Forest, a Chicago shipper who has been competitive recently while running for a $14,000 claiming tag.

“There is some speed in there,” Wells said. “But their speed is nothing like his speed. I have a lot of confidence in my horse and think this is a good spot for him.”

Wells said he was encouraged by Rapid Redux’s gallop at Penn National on Friday morning.

“I clocked him in 35 and 3 for his last three furlongs and galloping out in 51 and 1,” Wells said. “Before his race at Laurel,” referring to Rapid Redux’s record-tying 19th straight score on Oct. 27, “he went 36 and 52 and I thought that was very good. This was even better.”

Wells said he and owner Robert Cole are cool on the idea of shipping to Fair Grounds in New Orleans for the Claiming Crown the first weekend in December. The other record Wells would like to see Rapid Redux eclipse before he likely retires at season’s end is Citation’s 19 wins in one season. He comes into Monday night’s race two shy of that performance.

Rapid Redux began his streak last December at Penn National. During the streak, he has raced at seven different racetracks and been ridden by seven different jockeys, competing at distances ranging from five furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. His connections have capitalized on his eligibility for starter allowance races restricted to horses who have raced for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2010 or 2011. So far in the streak, Rapid Redux has won 14 starter allowances.

The North American and world record for number of consecutive wins by a Thoroughbred race horse is held by Camarero, a Puerto Rican-bred colt who won 56 consecutive races, beginning on April 14, 1953. On July 18, 1955, Camarero scored his 54th straight win to tie the previous world record held by the great Hungarian-bred mare Kincsem (foaled in 1874).  All her wins came in Europe.

On  August 7, 1955, Camarero broke the record with his 55th consecutive win and followed it up 10 days later with his 56th straight win -- all in Puerto Rico. Camarero was finally defeated on Aug. 26 that year.

There were also several horses who won 20 or more consecutive races in the United States before 1900.

The record for most consecutive wins by a Thoroughbred in America (23) belongs to a Virginia-bred gelding, Leviathan (originally named Flagellator), who was foaled in 1793.  He rolled up victory after victory in places like Petersburg, Tappahannock, Fairfield, and Alexandria.  Nine of his victories were four-mile heats.

Bond's First Consul, a bay colt foaled in 1798, is credited with winning 21 consecutive races, though as with all horses of this era, records can be sketchy.

Lottery, a chestnut filly foaled in 1803, lost her first start at Charleston in 1807 and then proceeded to win 21 straight races through 1810.

Fashion, a chestnut filly foaled in 1837, won 32 of her 36 lifetime starts, including, at one point, 20 consecutively.  Heat racing was still in vogue at this time, and would remain so until well after the Civic War, when all racing became so-called "dash" racing.  Thus, in her 36 lifetime starts, she raced in 68 heats -- ranging in distance from two to four miles each.

Fashion, who had a race named in her honor in New York for more than a century, is an inductee in the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Kentucky, a bay colt foaled in 1861, won his first and only start at age 2.  After losing his first start at age 3, he rattled off 20 consecutive victories.  Among his wins were the inaugural running of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga and the first two runnings of the 2 1/4-mile Saratoga Cup. Kentucky is also an inductee in racing's Hall of Fame.

- additional reporting by Ron Hale