Effinex, a Grade 1 winner and young New York stallion, died Wednesday in his stall of a pulmonary aneurysm at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., according to his breeder, Dr. Russell Cohen.
The 7-year-old son of Mineshaft had recently relocated to McMahon of Saratoga after standing his first season at Questroyal North in Stillwater, N.Y. this spring for an advertised fee of $10,000.
Effinex raced as a homebred for Cohen, who is racing manager of his mother’s Tri-Bone Stables, and Jimmy Jerkens trained the horse for most of his career.
“I got a call last night at 10 o’clock that he was dead,” Cohen said. “The groom left the barn after feeding him at seven, the secretary’s office is right in the stallion barn and she left at 7:30, and one of the veterinarians from Rood and Riddle lives above the stallion barn. He heard a big noise, he went downstairs to find out what it was, and the horse was dead. Rood and Riddle did a postmortem on him and his lungs and trachea were full of blood. He had a pulmonary aneurysm.”
Cohen famously gave Effinex his risqué name in reference to a tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife.
Effinex started as a 3-year-old in New York-bred company at Aqueduct, winning his second and third starts before finishing out of the money in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He returned to statebred competition for much of the season’s remainder, winning the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont, running second in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga, and venturing out to run fourth in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup Stakes.
The colt returned with fire for his 4-year-old campaign, taking an Aqueduct optional claimer and the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes to kick off the season. He established himself as a player in the national handicap division later in the year with a win in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and a third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, before finishing second to American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.
Effinex finished the year with a signature victory in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap. His 2015 campaign earned him New York-bred Horse of the Year honors from New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.
Effinex won the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and a second edition of the Suburban to go along with in-the-money efforts in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup. His career earnings totaled $3,312,950.
Cohen’s ties to Effinex’s family run deep. His dam, the multiple stakes-winning E Dubai mare What a Pear, ran as a homebred for the Cohens. Second dam Perfect Pear raced for Tri-Bone Stables after she was bought for $28,000 out of the 1999 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of select 2-year-olds in training.
“It’s one of the most difficult moments and days of my life,” Cohen said. “He just did everything so easy and was so cool. He was gorgeous.”