Trainer Jimmy Jerkens is plotting a racing schedule for newly crowned New York-bred Horse of the Year, Effinex, who worked five furlongs in 1:02.52 at Belmont Park on Thursday.
The first stop is the Grade 2 Oaklawn Park Handicap April 16 in Arkansas. After that, the 5-year-old son of Mineshaft will target New York's premier races for older males, including the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational June 11, and the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap, a race the horse won last year, on July 9.
Effinex most recently finished third as the favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 12. The horse ran that day with a case of the hives, which Jerkens said still puzzles him.
“Still don't know what is causing it,” Jerkens said following Effinex's work. “The [hives] are still popping up, every so often, but not to the degree it was [in California].
“I don't know [if it had an effect on his performance],” the trainer added. “People say [hives] come from stress. It's hard for me to believe that because he has been in a lot of stressful [situations] before that. I don't know if I buy that one.”
Effinex, who races for 84-year-old Bernice Cohen's Tri-Bone Stables, and was bred by the owner's son, Dr. Russell Cohen, is scheduled to fly to Arkansas on April 11.
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