05/29/2005 12:00AM

Le Cinquieme Essai hangs on in Connaught Cup

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Le Cinquieme Essai wins the Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Le Cinquieme Essai ($5.50) held off 11-1 shot Tusayan in deep stretch for a determined triumph Sunday at Woodbine in the mile and a sixteenth , a Grade 3 turf event worth $150,400.

Jockey Steven Bahen had Le Cinquieme Essai alone in a stalking position through the turn, as Burst of Fire led through fractions of :23.83, :46.75 and 1:10.76 seconds. Le Cinquieme Essai drew abreast of Burst of Fire inside the eighth pole, and got home on top by a half-length, in a final time of 1:40.79.

"He rated very nicely," said Bahen. "He was very relaxed. He was happy doing what he was doing, and punched on when I called on him."

Le Cinquieme Essai, who was a narrowly beaten second in the 2004 Connaught Cup, earned $90,000 for owner William Scott and trainer Paul Nielsen.

Silver Ticket, the 8-5 favorite, finished a half-length behind Tusayan in third in the six-horse field. Dalavin was scratched.