Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Oaklawn Handicap Winner Effinex Repeats in Suburban Handicap

Oaklawn Handicap winner Effinex, under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, edged Samraat by a neck to win the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (G2) for older horses for a second consecutive year Saturday at Belmont Park. The victory helped trainer Jimmy Jerkens equal a feat accomplished by his late father, the legendary Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.

The elder Jerkens won back-to back Suburban Handicaps, then a Grade 1 event, in 1993 and 1994 with Devil His Due, who had finished second in the 1994 Oaklawn Handicap.

“I always loved this race,” Jerkens said. “When I was a little kid, my father [late Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens] won this race a bunch of times with Beau Purple. He used to love to run in it any chance he could. He was a New York guy and those New York handicap races always meant a lot to him, and to me too. It's great to win here.”

 

Still beaming following the win was practicing veterinarian Dr. Russell Cohen, who bred the 5-year-old son of Mineshaft who, in turn, is owned by his family's Tri-Bone Stables, was still in awe of the performance put forth by the multiple graded stakes winner.

“I'm honored by the whole thing,” said Dr. Cohen. “Overwhelmed, it's really cool for a horse to do something that special. I'm a bit of a historian of the game, and to know that Allen [Jerkens] did it with Devil's Due who I also was veterinarian of and knowing there was very little done to him as well just like Jimmy with this horse - it appears Effinex is special as well.”

 

Effinex increased his career earnings to $2,962,950 following his ninth victory from 24 starts. The Suburban was his sixth stakes victory. Carrying top weight of 122 pounds, he ran 1 ¼ miles over a fast track in 2:01.04 and paid $6.30 as the 2-1 second choice.

 

Effinex won the $500,000 Clark Handicap (G1) and finished second to Triple Crown and Arkansas Derby winner American Pharoah in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last fall.

A Royal Match

Zenyatta, who won Oaklawn’s $500,000 Apple Blossom (G1) in 2010 en route to Horse of the Year honors, is reportedly in foal to another major Oaklawn stakes winner, Medaglia d’Oro.

Medgalia d’Oro, one of the world’s leading stallions, broke his maiden at the 2002 Oaklawn meet for four-time Oaklawn training champion David Vance before being sold privately and transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Medaglia d’Oro returned to Hot Springs to win the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in 2003.

Zenyatta also won the Apple Blossom in 2008 and retired with a 19-1-0 record from 20 starts and earnings of $7,304,580. Medaglia d’Oro, a multiple Grade 1 winner, earned $5,754,720 off an 8-7-0 record from 17 starts.

Medaglia d’Oro has sired, among others, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and unbeaten Songbird, the country’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2015. Rachel Alexandra won Oaklawn’s $50,000 Martha Washington Stakes and $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) in 2009.

Finish Lines

Arkansas Derby/Belmont Stakes winner Creator worked a half-mile in :49.44 Tuesday morning over Saratoga’s training track. … Owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs purchased Dynamic Impact for $25,000 at Monday’s Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age Sale. Under the care of trainer Mark Casse, Dynamic Impact broke his maiden at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting before winning the $500,000 Illinois Derby (G3) at Hawthorne in his next start. The 5-year-old son of Tiznow hasn’t started since finishing fourth in an April 23 allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream Park, but had been working at Winding Oaks Farm in Florida. Dynamic Impact also ran seventh in the 2014 Preakness. …Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Promise Me Silver moved to 10 for 13 in her career with a seven-length victory in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes Saturday at Lone Star. Promise Me Silver is an eight-time stakes winner, including the $100,000 Dixie Belle and $100,000 Instant Racing in 2015 at Oaklawn. … Supermason, fourth in the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes last year at Oaklawn, won the $50,000 Assault Stakes Saturday at Lone Star. Bret Calhoun, who won four races this year at Oaklawn, trains Promise Me Silver and Supermason. … One True Kiss, an April 9 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn, ran third in the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Belmont Park. … Brad Cox, Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer this year, begins Tuesday with 496 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Cox ranks fourth nationally this year in stakes victories (19).

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