Friday, April 15, 2016
Effinex Has Connections Feeling Confident
Multiple graded stakes winner Effinex is looking for the first win of his 5-year-old campaign and he got the stamp of his approval from his breeder, who also is a veterinarian, on the morning before he contests the $750,000 (G2) Oaklawn Handicap on Arkansas Derby day.
“He's pretty talented and pretty competitive. We all feel that Effinex is a very nice horse,” said Dr. Richard Cohen, who is handling hot walking chores for the son of Mineshaft this week as well.
Effinex is the 2-1 morning line favorite and the 121 pound high weight in the field of eight handicap horses, which includes (G1) Santa Anita Handicap victor Melatonin. Last out Effinex wound up third in the Big 'Cap.
“Melatonin is a nice horse and he ran a great race. The older handicap division isn't a gigantic division and many of these horses are going to be banging heads throughout the entire year,” he said. “I have no fear of taking shots.”
When Effinex, who put the finishing touch on his 4-year-old season with a win in the (G1) Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, made his only previous 2016 start at Santa Anita, he developed a brutal case of the hives.
“I own that,” said the veterinarian, who said that they used cedar shavings as bedding and feel that caused the reaction.
Effinex has had no problems during his Oaklawn trip and has handled all like the professional he is and taken well to the racing surface. Friday morning, he blew out about 5/16th of a mile during the special period reserved for participants in the Racing Festival of the South.
“It was perfect,” said Kent Sweezey, the assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “It wasn’t even a work. It was as blowout. We’re pleased. It was just what we wanted.”
Mike Smith, who has ridden Effinex for his last three races, will jet from California to ride.