05/06/2012 5:52PM

Woodbine: Essence Hit Man takes them all the way in Vigil Stakes

Michael Burns
Essence Hit Man led all the way on his way to a victory in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Essence Hit Man ran them off their feet in the $168,000 Vigil Stakes, winning the Grade 3 event over a sharp Big Band Sound at Woodbine on Sunday.

Essence Hit Man ($3.70), last year’s champion sprinter in Canada, set moderate fractions of 22.56 seconds and 45.16 in the seven-furlong test. He maintained a clear lead through the stretch before tiring late and got home on top by three-quarters of a length, in 1:22.28.  

Big Band Sound, who also ran second to Essence Hit Man in the April 7 Jacques Cartier Stakes, finished 2 1/2 lengths clear of Paso Doble after closing inside.

Jesse Campbell rode Essence Hit Man for trainer and co-owner Audre Cappuccitti.

“He was more on the kind side today,” Campbell said. “At the sixteenth pole, I tried not to get into him too hard, because he was giving me everything he had. He knows where the wire is. He was a tired boy. He ran hard.”