21??

If you are a racing fan, or even a sports fan, you will be watching the gritty claiming horse RAPID REDUX keep his incredible winning streak going – he’s at 20 and goes for 21 this afternoon at Laurel.

Eeeks, it’s not an easy group and if he does send to the lead, he is going to be pressure for sure. Facing him is Canadian stakes winner AWESOME RHYTHM along with the useful NO BRAKES. Good luck REDUX  and be safe…

 

RACEDAY 360′s photo spreads included this sharp image of RAPID REDUX

STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000
Purse $17,000. For Three Year Olds And Upward Which Have Started For A Claiming Price Of $5,000 Or Less In 2010-2011. Three Year Olds, 123 Lbs.; Older, 124 Lbs. Non-winners of two races at a mile or over since October 13 Allowed 2 Lbs. Such a race since then Allowed 4 Lbs. (Races where entered for $3,500 or less not considered in allowances). About One And One Sixteenth Miles.

P#     PP     Horse     Virtual
Stable     A/S     Med     Jockey     Wgt     Trainer     M/L
1 1  Rapid Redux (KY)         5/G     LA     J D Acosta     124     D J Wells     3/5
2 2  Awesome Rhythm (KY)         5/G     LA     A Castellano, Jr.     120     J Rigattieri     6/1
3  3 Derwins Prospector (KY)         3/G     LA     K Navarro     1127     C L Froc      30/1
4 4 No Brakes (MD)         6/G     LA     X Perez     122     K Sancuk     5/1
5 5 Shamroge (KY)         4/G     LA     R Chiappe     120     J C Vazquez     8/1
6 6 First Nite (MD)         4/G     LA     E D Rodriguez     122     H A Smith     10/1
7 7 Zosogood (NY)         5/G     LA     H G Ramos     124     T Wilson     12/1
Owners: 1 – Robert L. Cole, Jr.; 2 – May May Stable; 3 – Charles L. Frock; 4 – Katherine Sancuk; 5 – Gideon Racing Stable LLC; 6 – William M. Backer; 7 – Poppa Dukes Stable
Breeders: 1 – Fortress Pacific Equine, LLC; 2 – Stillmeadow Farm; 3 – Patricia Lagden & Devi Hall; 4 – John Franzone Jr. Racing Inc.; 5 – Randy Swanson, Arnulfo Rangel &Francisco Rangel; 6 – William M. Backer; 7 – Berkshire Stud andOak Cliff Breeders Inc.

Preview:Brendan O’Meara for Horseraceinsider

Citation Redux

Today, 2:55 p.m., Laurel Park, Rapid Redux attacks Citation.

Citation, in his Triple Crown-winning campaign of 1948, won 19 of 20 starts to set the record for the most wins in a calendar year. Rapid Redux sits at 18-for-18 in 2011.

The argument against Rapid Redux in any conversation has been his “minor league” credentials, that his penchant for winning has come against inferior competition. But the elite horses’ penchant for mediocrity seems no more deserving of praise than Rapid Redux. I’ll take an A+ minor leaguer over a C- elite horse, especially in 2011.

No one’s comparing Rapid Redux to Citation, that’s like comparing Jackie Moon to Dr. J. Still, the two names share the sentence.
“Citation is one of the all-time greats, just to be mentioned in the same sentence is unbelievable,” owner Robert Cole said. “The Citation record has stood for more than 60 years so I would like to get a part of that and possibly break it before the end of the month. That record might be more impressive, not that the consecutive record isn’t, because how a horse can win 19 races in one calendar year is like going to another galaxy on a space ship. It is beyond imagination.”

http://www.horseraceinsider.com/carryover-2-0/citation-redux/

some not so good redux reports:

http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/rapid-redux-race-investigated-by-stewards/

 

 

 

HERE AND THERE

Stakes winner SPREAD THE NEWS won a $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer yesterday. The 7yo by Cat’s at Home is owned by Tom Grimes and trained by Wilf Jones.

EXCAPER, 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, worked 4 furlongs in an easy :52 yesterday at Payson Park
FROM GULFSTREAM NEWS:
Richard Kaster and Frederick Wietling’s 2-year-old Kentucky homebred colt Excaper finished a game second as a 33-to-1 longshot behind Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish invader Wrote in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, and appears set to resume his promising career in the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Sun. Dec. 18.
“He’s (Excaper) been training right along at Payson Park and we’re seriously looking at the race (Dania Beach),” said trainer Ian Black. “He’ll work on Monday and if that goes well he’ll likely run.”
A roan/gray son of Exchange Rate, Excaper made each of his three career starts prior to the Breeders’ Cup at Woodbine where Black is based for most of the year. After winning his debut sprinting on Polytrack in early August, he finished a close-up second on turf in the $250,000 Summer Stakes (G3) in mid-September and fourth back on Polytrack in the $200,000 Gray Stakes (G3) in early October..
In the Breeders’ Cup, Excaper stalked the early pace racing second under regular jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, held a half-length lead in mid-stretch, and gave way to finish second, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Wrote with Finale, winner of the Summer Stakes, seventh in the full field of 14.
Black and Wilson teamed up last winter as Ellie Boje Farm’s 7-year-old Rahy’s Attorney captured the 50th running of the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (3) over the Gulfstream course with Musketier second and Prince Will I Am third.

YIPPEE! I won! CALIFORNIA MEMORY, from a Canadian family and bred in Kentucky, was happy after he won the Hong Kong Cup on the weekend! Steve Queen photo

 

 

 

LUCK REVIEW

by BUZZFOCUS

(Sunday night on HBO was the early premiere of the show LUCK – a review follows:)

For those of you who stuck around after last night’s premiere of the Boardwalk Empire season two finale and caught the first episode of HBO’s newest series Luck, which takes viewers into the seedy underworld of horse racing, you all know what a meaty treat this Rubix Cube of a series is going to be.

To be fair to the show, this won’t be a full-out review and recap of the pilot episode. That will happen after the official premiere, which is scheduled for Sunday, January 29, 2012. In the meantime, I will give you a taste of what I thought of the episode:

-David Milch, creator such classics like NYPD Blue and Deadwood, returns to form after the misfire that was John From Cincinnati, back to a world where “men can be men”, err, where the ill-tempered and the shadiest of dudes roam free and cause havoc.

-Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider, Miami Vice) has created a tone and style that is like nothing else on television right now. The horse grooming and preparation scenes are so well detailed that you could see the morning dew steam up from each individual creature. The horse racing scenes are also thrilling, injecting shots of adrenaline in between slow, thoughtful scenes where degenerate gamblers talking about their favorite past time.

-Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman is fantastic as Chester “Ace” Bernstein, a gambler who is recently released from prison after a three year stint, in the few scenes he’s actually in. (His first great character is almost twenty years.) And he has great chemistry with Dennis Farina (Law & Order, Crime Story), who plays his sidekick, confidant, and front as he plots his return back into the business of horse racing. The scene the two share at the end of the episode, where Bernstein laments his place in the world and the lack of trust he has in others is what every scene in television should be: superbly acted, well-directed, and crisply written.
read more at:

http://www.buzzfocus.com/2011/12/12/luck-episode-1-unofficial-series-premiere-hearlds-the-return-of-david-milch-to-hbo/

OPEN LETTER FROM ORC CHAIRMAN ROD SEILING
RE: ONTARIO RACING PROGRAM

Ontario Racing Commission Chair Rod Seiling has issued an open letter to the industry, a follow up to his March 2011 invitation for the industry to get involved in efforts to revitalize harness racing.

Seiling recognizes the work and effort by tracks, horsepeople and the Ontario Racing Commission Administration for the successful conclusion of the 2012 live race date allocation process.

The first year of the Ontario Racing Program is nearing completion and he urges all participants to build on the momentum achieved in this first year of the Program and make that business better.

An Open Letter from Chair Rod Seiling

Working Together Pays Dividends

I want to lead with a hearty recognition to tracks, horsepeople and the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) Administration for the successful conclusion of the 2012 live race date allocation process.

In March of this year, I issued an open letter to the industry, urging all stakeholders to take advantage of an opportunity to revitalize horse racing in Ontario. A lot of hard work by many people brought us to where we find ourselves today, and it clearly demonstrates the racing community has taken this challenge quite seriously.

When – if ever – has the month of December not meant a time of hearings, where tracks and horsepeople have faced off against one another over the number of live race dates for the coming year? It has been my longstanding belief that this adversarial approach planted the seeds of mistrust and confrontation so prevalent within the industry.

When it approved the Ontario Racing Program, one of the outcomes envisioned by the ORC Board was a scenario wherein tracks and horsepeople – working within the principles of the Program and with the facilitation expertise of the ORC Administration – could agree on a live race date schedule.

Little did we realize that it would occur in Year Two of the race date allocation process under the new Program.

Tracks and horsepeople are partners in the business and sport of horse racing. It is preferable, for a whole host of reasons, for the partners to reach a common accord and not rely on the ORC to arbitrate. Perhaps, one can hope, this moment marks a maturing change in the relationship between the partners.

The Program’s genesis was the obvious need to develop a clear and understandable business basis for the allocation of live race dates. Operating on a ‘supply side methodology’ and ‘ignoring the customer’ had long been the practice and was not working. One could assert that this supply sided approach helped to ‘grease’ the decline in wagering and fan support. And as a result, the subsequent racing ‘product’ was not perceived as worthy of the public’s investment in both time and money.

A key objective of the Program is to return to a ‘pre-Slots’ scenario where ‘the best horses raced against the best horses at the top tracks.’

I am happy to report that part of the Program is working. According to Standardbred Canada stats, wagering on Woodbine Standardbred product – which represents the vast majority of the total wagering in Ontario – is up 16 % per overnight card for 2011. At the very least, we want to see the wagering declines at other tracks reversed. Are there lessons to be learned from tracks such as Rideau Carlton or others who seem to have stabilized their business?

Let me be the first to say we still have work to do. We never expected to get it all right from the get go. It is for that reason we have established the Implementation and Monitoring (IM) Group. Their mandate is to implement and monitor the elements of the Ontario Racing Program and to ensure the Program is flexible enough to change, where the need for change is demonstrated and determined to be warranted.

The value of the IM Group is unquestionable as it has demonstrated time and time again. Their work explaining purse accounts was an excellent example. Perhaps their greatest asset and value to the industry is providing for the first time, accurate and reliable statistics outside of wagering information. Can you imagine any other major industry moving forward without such critical numbers at its fingertips?

With this information in hand, the industry can begin to analyse and assess itself in a realistic manner and with respect to what and how it can plan its future. If you have any questions or comments, I encourage you to contact members of the Group.

The first year of the Ontario Racing Program is nearing completion. I believe 2012 will be better, if for no other reason than the industry now has a clearer understanding of the Program. This is particularly true as to how an individual track can work within the Program for its benefit and that of its local horsepeople.

Looking forward, the ORC Board envisions some subtle but important changes as the Program starts to mature – for example, the need to funnel more racing opportunities for younger horses. We also need to begin to move on the accountability front as directed by our shareholder, the Government of Ontario. Of particular interest to all stakeholders, we are beginning to look at the possibility of presenting race date allocations as ‘three year rolling averages.’ It is my belief that this would allow all partners to better plan for their ongoing respective business needs.

In conclusion, let me say that we are very fortunate to be able to be in the horse racing business in Ontario. Therefore, let’s build on the momentum achieved in this first year of the Program and make that business better.

We are seeing the results in real terms – working together pays dividends…

Rod Seiling