04/21/2010 12:00AM

Essence Hit Man tries to follow mom's class act


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Audre Cappuccitti enjoyed plenty of success with El Prado Essence, a Kentucky-bred mare who banked $890,281.

Owned by Cappuccitti and her husband, Gord, El Prado Essence won four stakes and placed in 12 others while compiling an overall record of 10-11- 4 in 34 starts from 1999 through 2004.

On Sunday, Cappuccitti will be looking to rediscover the sweet smell of stakes success with Essence Hit Man, a son of El Prado Essence.

Essence Hit Man, a Kentucky-bred who is owned and was bred by the Cappuccittis, is slated to make his first start of the year in the $150,000 Woodstock, an open six-furlong race for 3-year-olds at Woodbine.

"We're ready to go and give it a shot," said Cappuccitti. "I wish I had a race into him, but he wasn't quite ready to run in the prep."

Essence Hit Man started five times as a 2-year-old, winning his maiden and one first-level allowance after finishing second in another. Cappuccitti had planned to start him once more but the opportunity failed to materialize.

"I waited here for six weeks, but his race didn't go so I had to send him home," said Cappuccitti.

Essence Hit Man then headed south to the Classic Mile Training Center in Ocala, Fla., along with his stakes-winning stablemate, the 3-year-old gelding Joey's Best.

"They were both turned out there for six weeks," said Cappuccitti.

"I started Essence Hit Man up on Feb. 15, and he was breezing a little down there. Joey's Hit Man didn't do much there. He was turned out six weeks and had four weeks just galloping."

Cappuccitti's Florida sojourners checked back into Woodbine in mid-March and both have been active on the work tab.

Essence Hit Man had breezed five times and sharpened his speed with a three-furlong bullet in 34.60 seconds on April 13.

"He's training well," said Cappuccitti. "He's matured a little; he was a little rambunctious last year."

Joey's Best has recorded six workouts here, the most recent being a six-furlong move in 1:14.60 this past Monday.

"He's breezing well here," said Cappuccitti. "We're looking for an allowance race to get him started."

Joey's Best, owned and bred by Gord Cappuccitti, started three times and captured the $125,800 Kingarvie for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds in his final appearance here last Nov. 28.