04/25/2010 12:00AM

Essence Hit Man all the way in Woodstock


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Essence Hit Man ($16.10) won his first stakes in rapid time Sunday at Woodbine, nearly setting a record in winning the 112th running of .

Jockey Chantal Sutherland let Essence Hit Man roll from the start, and he set fractions of 22.33 and 44.91 seconds in the six-furlong sprint. After holding a three-length lead at the eighth pole, he began to tire but managed to prevail by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:08.66, .35 seconds off the Polytrack record.

"This horse has a huge heart, and he showed it today," Sutherland said. "He tried the whole way. He was tired at the end, but he gave everything that he had."

Essence Hit Man banked $108,000 for the partnership of Gord Cappuccitti and trainer Audre Cappuccitti.

D's Wando rallied along the rail to finish second by a half-length over Bear's Hard Ten. Favored Wildcat Frankie was rated in a stalking position on the outside before fading in the stretch and ended up trailing the seven-horse field.