Effinex captures Oaklawn Handicap

April 16th, 2016

Tri-Bone Stables’ Effinex kept the pressure on Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Melatonin throughout Saturday’s $750,000 Oaklawn H. (G2) and pulled away from that rival in the stretch to triumph by a length under jockey Mike Smith.

Effinex and Melatonin actually met up in the Big ‘Cap last out, with the latter recording a front-running victory while Effinex finished third. Melatonin attempted another wire job in the Oaklawn ‘Cap, heading straight to the front from his inside 2 post and setting splits of :23.18 and :47.85.

Effinex latched onto Melatonin’s flank early on and kept pressing the leader down the backstretch. He ranged up to run in tandem entering the turn and had taken over prior to hitting the stretch.

Melatonin wasn’t done yet, though, fighting back on the inside to make Effinex work for it. In the end, however, the Jimmy Jerkens trainee inched away to cross under the wire first in a final time of 1:49 for nine furlongs on Oaklawn Park’s fast main track.

Melatonin was best of the rest, 2 3/4 lengths up on 41-1 longshot Point Piper. Blofeld followed by only three parts of a length while Upstart was another neck back in fifth. Domain’s Rap and Carve completed the order of finish after Financial Modeling was distanced and walked off.

Effinex paid $5.40 as the 8-5 favorite, and improved his career record to read 22-8-2-4, $2,682,950.

The five-year-old son of Mineshaft had his best year last season, scoring in the Clark H. (G1), Suburban H. (G2) and Excelsior (G3). Perhaps his biggest accomplishment, though, was running second to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last fall. He also placed third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and ran fourth in the Woodward S. (G1) in 2015.

Bred in New York by Dr. Russell S. Cohen, Effinex is the first and only registered foal out of the multiple stakes-winning E Dubai mare What a Pear. His fourth dam is Broodmare of the Year and blue-hen mare Best in Show.

Effinex photo courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography