05/29/2010 12:00AM

Exhi too good for Marine Stakes foes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Kentucky shipper Exhi dominated a quality field under Robby Albarado in the 55th running of the Saturday at Woodbine.

Essence Hit Man set moderate fractions of 24.80 and 49.14 in the 1 1/16-mile route for 3-year-olds, with Exhi stalking him in second.

Exhi drew alongside Essence Hit Man early in the stretch before kicking clear to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths over a closing Hotep in 1:43.80. Essence Hit Man held on for third in a field reduced to five with the scratch of Giant's Tomb.

Albarado said he spoke to Exhi's trainer, Todd Pletcher, on the phone before the race.

"He said to try and leave there quietly on him and hopefully get him to relax, and he did the whole route," said Albarado. "The fractions were easy, and he just sprinted home."

Exhi returned $5.80 as the favorite in his first start since his victory in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland April 17. He collected $90,000 for owners Wertheimer and Frere.

* Tasty Temptation ($3.80) came wide from the back of the pack to take Saturday's fourth race, the allowance prep for the June 20 Hill 'n' Dale Stakes. With Patrick Husbands riding for trainer Mark Casse, Tasty Temptation covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.80 while scoring by 3 1/2 lengths over Sugar Bay.