Rapid Redux, the Eclipse Award-winning claimer who set a North American record for consecutive victories at 22 in January, has a retirement home. The horse is now about to head for Old Friends near Lexington, Ky.
Old Friends owner Michael Blowen said he and trainer David Wells are in the midst of working out transportation details for the horse to Old Friends where Blowen said the horse will be a star.
"David wants him to come here and it means everything to me," Blowen said. "It's like having Secretariat come to the farm. The horses we have, like me, are old and our fan base is similar. This guy will bring a whole new fan base. I think we'll get a lot more visitors."
Wells has been handling the retirement arrangements for owner Robert Cole, Jr., a Maryland native. Initially, Wells thought the horse was going to The Kentucky Horse Park, only to learn he was talking to The Secretariat Center, an organization based inside the park that retrains thoroughbreds for new careers.
Once he understood the difference, Wells said he did not think Rapid Redux, who set the consecutive victory record within a year, was capable of a new career as he is developing arthritis and experiencing other issues from wear and tear.
At Old Friends, Rapid Redux will be turned out in green pasture to enjoy his retirement.
"I think one of the reasons David chose us was because of our location," Blowen said. "We're 15 minutes from one of the best equine vets in the country and 15 minutes from the best equine hospital. The retired horses here are surrounded by and have access to all the things the geriatric set needs.
"You know, when I first started in the racing business, I had the lowest of claimers," Blowen said. "I know claimers run their hearts out. If any horse deserves a comfortable retirement home it's them."
Rapid Redux will be surrounded by champions. Among them: Gulch, the 1988 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, and Prized, the 1989 Breeders' Cup Turf winner, who beat Sunday Silence.
For those who have asked if Rapid Redux's connections will send a check with the horse, Wells has said a donation will be made. Blowen said he did not ask for money.
"I would have paid them to get this horse," he said. "I never ask for money. I didn't ask Lane's End when they sent Gulch and I didn't ask Jerry Moss when he sent Ruhlmann. They did send some, though, and usually it's more than I ever would have thought of asking. The owners are usually very grateful that their horses have a great place to spend their days."