Essence Hit Man, fresh off being named Canada's 2011 champion sprinter earlier in the week, captured the $168,300 Jacques Cartier S. for the second year in a row, once again in front-running fashion (VIDEO
The Audre Cappuccitti trainee, who established a track record of 1:08.16 while winning the 2011 edition of the event, went to the front this time as well, going up a length and a half after just a quarter mile.
Under a stoic ride by Jesse Campbell, Essence Hit Man improved his lead through the turn, then as Campbell asked him for more run turning into the stretch, he opened up, coasting to the wire two and three-quarter lengths to the good, stopping the clock in 1:09.26.
Cappuccitti, who owns and bred Essence Hit Man in partnership with husband Gordon, was pleased with the how the race set up.
"We didn't know what was going to happen today, there was so much speed (in the race)," said Cappuccitti. "I said to Jesse, 'Just ride your race and if we can just get him to not have a :43 (half-mile), and he didn't, which was perfect."
"He's letting me ride him down the backside, he's not ramping it," said Campbell about his mount's growing maturity. "A tick under :45 for him is really reasonable. He's doing it the right way. Mentally, he's right. His coat is great and he showed it today."
Essence Hit Man has now earned $838,214 for his connections, with a mark of 8-4-3 in 19 starts.
He is the leading earner of 2012 for his sire Speightstown, who is in the top 5 on the North American General Sire List.