04/07/2012 5:11PM

Woodbine: Essence Hit Man repeats in Jacques Cartier

Michael Burns
Esscence Hit Man, ridden by Jesse Campbell, wins the Jacques Cartier for the second straight year.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Essence Hit Man, last year’s Canadian champion sprinter, won the six-furlong Jacques Cartier Stakes for the second year in a row at Woodbine on Saturday.

Essence Hit Man broke alertly under Jesse Campbell, and then outran the other speed through moderate fractions of 22.09 and 44.48 seconds. He opened up a clear lead exiting the turn before coasting home on top by 2 3/4 lengths, in a time of 1:09.26.

Big Band Sound, a 14-1 outsider, outran second choice Paso Doble for second in the seven-horse field.

Essence Hit Man returned $5.60 as the slight favorite. He collected $108,000 of the $168,300 purse for the partnership of Gord Cappuccitti and trainer Audre Cappuccitti.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen, because there was so much speed,” said Audre Cappuccitti. “I told Jesse to just ride his race, and try to get him not to go in 43, and he didn’t, which was perfect. I was hoping that he’d get a little breather.”