STARTER ALLOWANCE | PURSE: $17,000 | OPEN | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | 1 1/16 MILES
Rapid Redux, the record-setting starter-allowance runner, is on track to make one more start in 2011, but might soon be retired from racing, his trainer, David Wells, said Wednesday morning.
Wells said Rapid Redux had come out of his 21st straight victory on Tuesday at Laurel Park "really well," and was scheduled to go back to the track on Saturday morning after a few days of rest at Wells' farm near Penn National Racecourse in Pennsylvania.
"He cooled out sound, ate his dinner last night," Wells said. "He's sound and bright and looks really good."
Rapid Redux won a $5,000 starter allowance by a half-length on Tuesday, his 19th win in 2011. That equaled a modern U.S. record for wins in a single year held by Citation, who won 19 of 20 in 1948. Wells and owner Robert Cole would like to give Rapid Redux a chance for win number 20 this year of the horse recovers from Tuesday's performance in a timely manner. Cole mentioned retirement as a possibility for the 5-year-old gelding before Tuesday's race, and Wells brought up the subject again Wednesday morning.
"We really won't know what we'll do till Friday or Saturday, but I'd like to try one more," Well said. "In a perfect world I'd like to race him Dec. 31 and retire him right after the race. I'd like to retire him sound, and if we keep going something eventually will happen. He might even be retired after this race. We're just not sure yet."
Rapid Redux had a three-length lead at the stretch call and did not finish strongly Tuesday, and Wells said jockey J.D. Acosta said Rapid Redux "made a little bit of a noise galloping out, and I was afraid he was displacing [his soft palate] again." A postrace endoscopic examination was performed on Rapid Redux, however, and revealed nothing amiss, according to Wells.
While Wells was pleased enough with Rapid Redux's condition coming out of his race, he acknowledged that a long, busy year has taken its toll on the gelding, citing declining speed figures as evidence of diminished performance.
"We're going to do everything in our power to baby him back into another race, but it's going to have to be close by," Wells said. "He's slowing down. He got an 83 Beyer yesterday, and that's about where he is right now. It's late in the year, and he's not going to get any better than that."