01/21/2012 12:29PM

Parx Racing: With Rapid Redux resting, Wells pushes on


Extract the 19-for-19 record posted by a certain Eclipse Award recipient in his barn, and trainer David Wells still had a fine 2011. From 321 other starts last year, Wells won 67 races with horses not named Rapid Redux, good for a .21 win percentage that stacks up well anywhere you go.

Now with 6-year-old Rapid Redux – whose feats earned him a Special Eclipse Award last Monday night – having been turned out for an extensive break on Wells’s farm near Penn National Race Course after having exited his latest victory Jan. 4 at Laurel Park with what owner Robert Cole described Friday as “aches and pains,” Wells will have more time to devote to the balance of his stable.

One of those runners is a 4-year-old filly named Empress Hapshepsut, who doesn’t quite have the winning knack of Rapid Redux but could be in a line for an overdue victory when taking part Monday afternoon in the $47,000 feature at Parx Racing in suburban Philadelphia. After capturing a starter-allowance at Parx in early March – while curiously “misidentified” as Queen Hapshepsut, a snafu since remedied – the Kentucky-bred daughter of Don’t Get Mad proceeded to lose her next six starts, all but one in first-level allowance company, albeit none of them in a particularly embarrassing way.

In fact, Empress Hapshepsut appears capable of making a breakthrough in what shapes up as a well-matched field of nine fillies and mares in her next crack at a first-level allowance. This one goes at a mile and 70 yards as the ninth of 10 Monday races.

Empress Hapshepsut, with newly crowned Eclipse apprentice champion Kyle Frey named to ride by Wells and owner Tigertail Ranch, will break from post 6. The filly was most recently second for this same condition and also has been third three times at the level, usually when well-backed at the windows.

Her main challengers could prove to be I Love U So Pretty (post 1), Julene (post 2), and Fairly Royal (post 8). Of those, I Love U So Pretty might be the most dangerous as the inside speed, but only if she can revert to the form that led to a maiden victory in July and a runner-up finish in her first try at allowances in September.

First post Monday is 12:25 p.m. Eastern, with the feature going at 3:50. A solid undercard also includes two $45,000 maiden-special events (races 1 and 6), two starter-allowances (races 2 and 8), and a $40,000 claiming route (race 4).