04/17/2011 5:43PM

Woodbine: Essence Hit Man breaks track record in Jacques Cartier

Michael Burns
Essence Hit Man won the Jacques Cartier, and now heads to the Vigil.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Essence Hit Man lowered the six-furlong Polytrack record  at Woodbine during an impressive score Sunday in the $168,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes.

With a strong wind at his back, Essence Hit Man established a clear lead and got the opening quarter in 21.98 seconds under Patrick Husbands. Fatal Bullet came inside to challenge for the lead through a half in 43.86, but Essence Hit Man repelled the challenge and then drew off to win by two lengths over favored Signature Red. Fatal Bullet wound up third in the five-horse field.

Essence Hit Man ($8.30) covered the distance in 1:08.16, which was .15 of a second faster than the previous record. He collected $108,000 for the partnership of Gord Cappuccitti and trainer Audre Cappuccitti, who said she was surprised by how ready the gelding was following a seven-month layoff.

“When they started to come to him, I thought he was getting a little tired, but he drew off again,” said Cappuccitti. “I’m thrilled. I thought it was really a tough race.”