Effinex wins Belmont’s $300K Empire Classic in upset
Effinex pulled a 17-1 upset in the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, the richest race on Belmont Park’s Saturday program devoted to New York breds.
A 3-year-old trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Effinex got his first stakes victory with a determined stretch rally that wore down the pacesetting So Lonesome. Effinex and jockey Angel Arroyo got up by a neck in 1:48.51 for the 1 1/8 miles, paying $37.20, $12.80 and $8.30.
So Lonesome returned $5.60 and $3.90 and Beautyinthepulpit paid $4.60 to show.
In other stakes results:
Princess Violet rolled to a 5 1/2-length victory over Flipcup as the 6-5 favorite in the $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap. The 3-year-old, running against state breds for the first time, extended her winning streak to two with her first stakes triumph with Jose Ortiz up for trainer Mike Hushion.
Ostrolenka, the 3-5 favorite, extended his winning streak to two in the $250,000 Ticonderoga for 2-year-olds with John Velazquez aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Quezon was a six-length winner over 2-5 favorite Temper Mint Patty in the $250,000 Maid of the Mist for 2-year-old fillies. She is 2 for 2 for the team of trainer Bobby Ribaudo and jockey Manuel Franco.
Discreet Marq, the 4-5 favorite, beat Old Harbor by three lengths in the $200,000 Ticonderoga for fillies and mares on the turf. Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode for trainer Christophe Clement as the gray 4-year-old filly got her first win in six tries this season.
Kharafa held off Lubash by 1 1/4 lengths in the $200,000 Mohawk on the turf. Angel Arroyo was on the 5-year-old gelding for trainer Tim Hills as Lubash prevailed at 6-1.
La Verdad led all the way as the 3-5 favorite in the $150,000 Iroquois for filly and mare sprinters. The 4-year-old trained by Linda Rice beat Willet by 1 1/4 lengths. Jose Ortiz guided her to his second stakes win of the day.
Moonlight Song went gate to wire at 5-1 in the final stakes, the $150,000 Hudson Handicap for sprinters. Joel Rosario was aboard the 7-year-old gelding for trainer Charlton Baker.