Effinex has passed away. The six-year-old horse was the product of owner and breeder Dr. Russell Cohen, who is still suffering from the heartbreaking news. He apparently died suddenly and painlessly in his stable after his pulmonary artery ruptured, leading to a swift – yet painfully sudden – death.
“It is not a business to me. This is a passion,” said Cohen, who is also a veterinarian. “He is the kind of horse every owner should have at least once in their life. He filled a huge void in my life.”
Foaled in New York on April 15th, 2011 in New York, Effinex was sired by Mineshaft out of What A Pear. He broke his maiden during a promising three-year-old season in 2014 highlighted by a win in the Empire Classic. The following year, he would break out as a star with major victories in the 2015 Excelsior, Suburban and Clark Handicap battling Tonalist throughout the year.
Despite going off as a 30/1 longshot in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Effinex would finish second behind American Pharoah who was simply unstoppable. Against any other field, the four-year-old may have stood a chance.
Returning in 2016 as a five-year-old, Effinex would run in eight races and pick up wins in the both the 2016 Oaklawn Handicap with a repeat int he Suburban Handicap. He also came second to Hoppertunity in the 2016 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He would proceed to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic as a 15/1 afterthought behind Arrogate, California Chrome and Keen Ice to place 7th.
After his final race, where he placed 6th in the 2017 Clark Handicap, Cohen beamed about just how special this horse had been to him. “He is not just a New York-bred. He’s third generation,” Cohen said last year. “And despite all he’s done for me, I owe him more. I want him here, where I can keep an eye on him. There’s just a lot of emotion.”
Retiring to stud at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in upstate New York, he was just about to enter a promising second career when tragedy struck on October 17th in the early hours of the morning. Speaking of how Effinex’s sudden passing affected Cohen, Joe McMahon reflected that Effinex was Cohen’s most proud accomplishment.”He has worked hard as a veterinarian all his life and bred this really nice horse, and he was so incredibly proud of him,” McMahon explained. “He was his life’s work.”
Effinex dies after being retired for just under a year. He raced 28 times and compiled a record of 9-3-4 with $3,312,950 in career earnings.