Rapid Redux, who has won 18 consecutive starts, can tie the all-time North American record of 19 straight victories held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride with a victory today at Laurel Park.
The 5-year-old gelding will face four rivals in the sixth race, a $20,000 starter allowance at seven furlongs, and has been made the 3-5 morning-line favorite. Post time is 3:47 p.m. HRTV will have live coverage, and the race will be streamed on drf.com.
J.D. Acosta will ride Rapid Redux for the fourth consecutive race.
"Everybody expects him to win, so I don't want to make any mistakes," Acosta said. "I want to break in front and slow down the pace as much as possible, which isn't going to be easy with the bull's-eye on our back. My goal is to tie the record tomorrow and then try to reach 24. There was a horse in the Dominican Republic [Sicotico] that won 24 races in a row, so I would love to match him."
Billy Campbell finished second to Rapid Redux with Smiling Jordan in his last two races. Today, he'll saddle 10-time winner Cooper County.
"I don't see how I can beat him," Campbell said. "Seven furlongs is a little too far for that horse of mine. The only reason he's in there is it's the only race I could find for him."
The three other runners in the race are Noah's Dream, ridden by Sheldon Russell, one of seven jockeys to ride Rapid Redux to victory during the streak; Maryland Million Starter Handicap winner Shordawatyadrink; and Rich Hero, from Jamie Ness' barn. Rapid Redux is 16-for-16 this year.
The record for most victories in a year is 19 by Citation in 1948, the year he won the Triple Crown. Two of those wins were at Pimlico Race Course (Preakness and Pimlico Special). The lone loss was at Havre de Grace in his fifth start of the year.