Essence Hit Man got his fifth career stakes win and first graded victory in the Nov. 19 Kennedy Road S. (G3) at Woodbine Racecourse. The 4-year-old son of Speightstown sports an excellent overall mark of 7-4-3 from 18 starts, earning $729,901.
Speightstown is a top 10 North American sire this year, with a dozen stakes winners accounting for 15 stakes wins. Essence Hit Man is his leading earner in 2011.
Essence Hit Man, who was bred in Canada by his owner/trainer Audre Cappuccitti, controlled things from the outset of the $174,000 Kennedy Road. Jockey Jesse Campbell allowed his mount to cruise to a two-length lead after a half-mile in :44.57 seconds, then came home strongly under a steady urging to finish the six furlongs in 1:08.75.
"I had Jesse come back and breeze him after the last race, and I changed the equipment, and said, 'let's see if this will help'," said Cappuccitti. "He (Campbell) came back and said it really worked. He had a tiny bit more control. It's not that he's (Essence Hit Man) tough, he just wants to go and if you try to strangle him, it just doesn't work."
"He really let me ride him today and at the end of the race it was a real big difference," said Campbell. "When I hit the middle of the backside, I knew this was really setting up good for me. When he heard those horses coming going into the half, he just smoothed out and picked up a little bit. I knew I had a ton of horse at the five-sixteenths pole. I thought about really asking him to run, before I ended up asking him, to try and just open up, but I saved him for another sixteenth of a mile and he really responded when I asked him."
The final time of the Kennedy Road was just off the track record of 1:08.16 set by Essence Hit Man on April 16 in the $175,000 Jacques Cartier S. All five of his stakes wins have come at Woodbine. His dam, El Prado Essence, was a two-time winner of a pair of Woodbine stakes: the George C. Hendrie H. (G3) and the Seaway S.