Racing News Roundup: SBOANJ Elections; Jockey Club Stats; Effinex Remembered

Effinex in 2015 Credits: Adam Mooshian | NYRA

SBOANJ Elections Held

The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey’s annual board of directors meeting and election was held recently at Freehold Raceway.

In the breeder category, incumbent Stephen Dye, III ran unopposed and was reelected.

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The owner category incumbent Bob Boni and newcomer Sam Landy were elected to fill the two owner director positions.

In the driver/trainer category, incumbent Mark Ford, and newcomers, Julie Miller were elected to fill the two driver/trainer positions.

The Jockey Club Releases 2017 Report of Mares Bred Statistics

The Jockey Club released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2017 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through Oct. 17, 2017, The Jockey Club reports that 1,342 stallions covered 31,863 mares in North America during 2017.

Based upon historical reporting trends, The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,000 to 3,000 mares will be reported as bred during the 2017 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 5.7% from the 1,423 reported at this time in 2016, and the number of mares bred decreased 5.6% from the 33,746 reported last year.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2017 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at

American Pharoah, was the third most popular stallion with 214 mares.

Pennsylvania stallions covered more mares in 2017 than in 2016, as reported at this time last year even the number of stallions dropped from 41 to 36.

New York added three stallions to the 55 standing in 2016 but the number of mares dropped by 12.19% to 1,326.

The Jockey Club also reported that 1,863 stallions covered 36,045 mares in North America during 2016, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 13, 2017. These breedings have resulted in 21,624 live foals of 2017 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90 percent complete. The reporting of live foals of 2017 is down 1.7 percent from last year at this time when The Jockey Club had received reports for 21,991 live foals of 2016.

New York saw a drop of 3% to 912 foals. Pennsylvania saw a drop of more than 17% to 289 foals. New Jersey produced 20 live foals with stallion Don Six accounting for 10 of them.

Ultimately, the 2017 national registered foal crop is projected to reach 22,500.

Statistics for all reported stallions in 2017 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at

Salvato Promoted at NYRA

ELMONT, N.Y. — The New York Racing Association promoted Assistant Racing Secretary Matt Salvato to the role of Racing Secretary ahead of the upcoming fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.

A native of Farmingdale, N.Y. with family ties to the horseracing industry, Salvato is a nine-year veteran of the racing office. He joined NYRA in 2008 after graduating from Adelphi University with a degree in Sports Management.

"Matt is a talented professional with a bright future in racing," said Martin Panza, NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. "We've always had the highest confidence in his abilities and we're especially pleased to be able to promote from within the racing office."

Effinex Passes Away Suddenly

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens recalled the remarkable career of multiple graded stakes winner Effinex, who died suddenly from a ruptured pulmonary artery just before 9 p.m. on Oct. 18. Jerkens saddled the New York bred for 21 of his 28 starts winning the Empire Classic Handicap, the Grade 3 Excelsior, the 2015 and 2016 Grade 2 Suburban, the Grade 1 Clark Handicap and the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.

In addition to his victories Effinex finished second to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic and was the runner-up in last year's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

"I'm shocked. I thought he was in perfect health," Jerkens said. "They were excited about him standing in New York. It's just a freak thing. I can't remember this happening. It's not that common. Things happen. I'm just glad that if it had to happen that it wasn't something that was long and torturous like a bad colic, there's nothing worse than witnessing a horse go through that."

Jerkens, who acknowledged the support and emotion that was shown by racing fans in the hours following Effinex's passing was just as impressed with him and his effort that earned him $3,312,950 in his career.

"He started out it looked like he was just a very average horse, but to see him develop like he did that's what's great about training," he said. "So much of it is so hard, but you get a horse like that, and you see him develop before your eyes, and see them reach their potential, it's very gratifying.

"He showed so much class, you know like when he ran in the Santa Anita Handicap," Jerkens added. "It was a 'hurry up' decision to run him there, and we tried to prepare him the best we could, and whenever you do that it never works out. He wasn't training very well, plus he broke out in a terrible case of hives out there, and still finished third, I couldn't believe it. Then he came right back and probably ran one of the best races of his life in Oaklawn.  He'd throw in a little bit of a clunker there, and you'd shake your head, but you could never count him out.

"I was on the fence about going to Keeneland [2015 Breeders' Cup], Russell [owner Russell Cohen] said, 'Oh we're going! If you don't take him someone else will,' that kind of thing, and he went there and ran incredible. They reach back for something more, those are the kind you miss. They find it somehow.

"Even after the Breeders' Cup, the horses that he beat that were behind him, you had Tonalist, you had Honor Code, the Godolphin horse, Frosted, they say that was just a fluke thing, but then when he came back and ran in the Clark, I felt that vindicated him, I felt great about that."

Effinex's career began in trainer Richard DeMola's barn where he debuted with a fifth-place finish over Aqueduct's inner track before returning less than a month later to win via a disqualification after being interfered with in the stretch. He then went on to win an allowance three weeks later after being transferred to trainer David Smith's care.

The son of Mineshaft then finished eighth in the 2014 Wood Memorial, and returned with a third-place finish against open allowance company then responded with two off-the-board finishes, and was again transferred, this time to Jerkens who saddled Effinex to a runner-up finish in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga. Jerkens remained his conditioner through the rest of his career.

As many as 103 foals were confirmed in foal to Effinex this year, and his passing will leave a void in New York breeding. Effinex was buried at McMahon Farm, where he died, and will be laid alongside Grade 1 winner Personal Flag.

Jockey Angel Arroyo registers his 1,000th career win

ELMONT, N.Y. — Jockey Angel Arroyo recorded his 1,000th career victory when 14-1 choice Pico Chick on Sept. 28.

Arroyo piloted Pico Chick ($30) to a come-from-behind win, edging out Honor Way by a nose in the six-furlong sprint on the main track to reach the personal milestone.

The 30-year-old started his North American career in 2007, when he had his first winner with Knockoff Firefly on July 23, 2007 at Delaware Park.

"I'm so happy. To get a thousand wins, wow, it's special," Arroyo said. "I'm very thankful. It's taken a long time. My horse was good today. He responded and never quit."

Arroyo has recorded at least 70 wins in nine straight years, including a career-high 183 in 2012. He won the riding title at Parx that year with 160 winners.

"To win a thousand, that's a lot of races," Arroyo said. "I remember getting my first in 2007. Now it's 10 years later, and to get it in Belmont Park, it's very special and I'm really happy."

Arroyo has five career graded stakes victories to his credit, guiding Highway Star to a win in this year's Grade 3 Distaff Handicap and the Grade 2 Ruffian as well as the 2016 Grade 3 Go for Wand. His first graded stakes win came with Classic Point in the 2014 edition of the Go for Wand.

The native of Panama City, Panama earned his first New York win aboard Sax in the City on Nov.  9, 2007 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Wins Regional Hospitality And Tourism Award

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. —  Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment was awarded “Best Visitor Experience” at the 5thAnnual Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau Hospi-tourism Awards held Sept. 26 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Voting was conducted by Destination Marketing Organizations around the state.

MRE competed against dozens of area restaurants, hotels, and other entertainment venues.

 “It has always been the foundation of our business to provide exceptional customer service while paying close attention to detail,” explained Jason M. Settlemoir, GM/COO of MRE. “We take great pride in our new facility and our ability to put on a great show for our guests whether they come here for live horse racing or one of our numerous events or parties. We have a tremendous team here that is always willing to go the extra mile for our customers and this award is truly an honor for everyone that works here.”

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