By Steve Ginsburg
LAUREL, Maryland (Reuters) - Rapid Redux, a six-year-old gelding claimed for just $6,250 in 2010, extended his U.S. record on Wednesday by winning his 22nd consecutive race.
J.D. Acosta rode the chestnut son of Pleasantly Perfect to a three-quarter-length victory over Awesome Rhythm in a $17,000 starter-allowance race at Laurel Park.
Awesome Rhythm patiently stalked Rapid Redux throughout the one-mile, five-horse race, prompting Acosta to worry his 2-5 favorite might not make it to the winner's circle.
"I had this horse right next to me," Acosta said. "I kept feeling this breathing on my back the whole time. I said, 'I'm going to have some competition today.' I was concerned."
Zenyatta, the 2010 U.S. Horse of the Year, and Peppers Pride shared the previous record for consecutive victories with 19.
Since owner Robert Cole claimed Rapid Redux, the gelding, whose win streak dates back to December 2010, has won 23 of 24 races with earnings of $266,074.
"The math is unbelievable when you think about it. It's probably not going to happen again," Cole said of the streak. "So I'm happy to be the guy that owns the horse that makes history and keeps it probably for a couple hundred years."
(Reporting By Steve Ginsburg; Editing by Frank Pingue)