Despite his fourth place finish in the “Win and You’re In” Whitney at Saratoga, Effinex is back on top after a stellar 2015 season that included a second to American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and subsequent triumph in the Clark Handicap (G1). He picked up victories this year in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Suburban Handicap (G2) to gear up for the Classic.
The road to the winner’s circle has not always been smooth for Effinex and trainer Jimmy Jerkens, son of legendary trainer H. Allen Jerkens. The conditioner was perplexed by the horse’s easygoing yet impolite behavior at race time. In the Brooklyn Invitational Stakes (G2) on June 6, 2015 at Belmont Park, Effinex charged to the outside rail on both turns and failed to finish. Three months later, he experienced stage fright at the starting gate for the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. He spun around and tried to run away. He was nervous once he was inside the gate but still managed to check in fourth. Jerkens outfitted him with a different bit, changed his blinkers, and watched Effinex reach his full potential.
Effinex was bred by equine veterinarian Russell Cohen and races for his mother Bernice Cohen in the name of Tri-Bone Stables.