NORM FILES caught ESSENCE HIT MAN and Jesse Campbell at the wire of the Jacques Cartier.




ESSENCE HIT MAN loves the spring. So much that he won the JACQUES CARTIER STAKES at Woodbine for the THIRD YEAR in succession. On a bright, sunny and simply super day at Woodbine yesterday, the Hit Man jumped out to the lead and coasted home under Jesse Campbell, leading to a big celebration by a large Cappuccitti contingent.
Owner/breeder GORD CAPPACCITTI was surrounded by friends and family as they celebrated the win, dedicating it to the late AUDRE CAPPUCCITTI, who loved her horses and always had the Hit Man ready.

The race was not without incident as the HITMAN caused some crowding early in the 6 furlong dash and both BEAR TOUGH TIGER and BEAR NO JOKE, who chased him, were bobbling around a bit.

The STEWARDS lodged their own claim of foul after Justin Stein, rider of Bear Tough Tiger claimed foul, but after a lengthy view, it was disallowed.
The running time of 1:08 4/5 was good for a 100 Beyer Figure.

Campbell, who is well spoken and obviously a big fan of the horse, put up his finger at the wire to declare his buddy #1.
I’ve never seen this horse act the way he acted in post (parade), and all for the good,” said Campbell. “He was a calm customer today, very well behaved in the gate. I had no concerns leaving the gate and I know third or fourth jump he’s going to be on his way.”

Campbell is hopeful that Essence Hit Man, a horse capable of putting up a :21 quarter and a :44 half, will continue to be as relaxed throughout the 2013 meet.

“I’d rather him be like that, I don’t need him to leave in :21,” said Campbell. “He’s quick when you need him.”

It was an emotional result for the connections with the passing of Audre Cappuccitti, co-owner/breeder and former trainer of Essence Hit Man, last November.

“The way he ran makes it emotional,” said Campbell. “He’s a champ.”

By Speightstown out of El Prado Essence bu El Prado (Ire), Essence Hit Man has won 11 of 25 races and over $1.2 million.

It was interesting to note that the gelding now races for A & G Racing Stable and was decked out in the brown and beige silks of that stable name instead of the usual turquoise and silver of Audre Cappuccitti.
ESSENCE HIT MAN was broken at Pine Valley Training Centre, run by Paul Caine. Pine Valley had its first winner for winter trainees when ROOTHAM TRIPLE E’S won the Star Shoot Stakes last weekend.


The 2nd best Beyer Figure of the day was the 82 posted by the speedy 3yo CLICK, who won under wraps in race 7, an Ontario sired allowance. The Mary Biamonte owned gelding is by Tomahawk out of Fantastic Allie by Ghazi and he was making his first start since June. He is now 2 for 3 in his career and he paid just $2.90 to win.

An exciting win for many was that by JACK PINE in race 4. This robust chestnut gelding by Philanthropist is a homebred for the Cudney stables and was the top pick in the Toronto Star. The gelding was also featured on IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE, the new racing podcast on

Under a great ride by Todd Kabel, the gelding stalked inside and then angled out to go clear for his maiden win in his 2nd career race. He earned a 72 Beyer Figure. Liz Charalambous trains the gelding who paid $17 to win. (Too bad the PICK 4 he started paid a paltry $166.00 despite $130K in the pool!).

Also on Saturday, the first race went to 17 to shot ROCK STAR MIA, who roared up the rail in the $20K claiming race to become the 1st winner for owner/trainer MARIO MAVER this season. Maver, has won 16 races from 100 starters in his career as trainer according to Equibase. This winner was coming back in 6 days after a drab run for $10K, non-winners of 2. But the pace battle of this race involved a silly duel between Atticus Apple and Aberfolye Mill and when they stopped, the race was up for grabs. Tommy Wong gave ‘Mia’ a shrewd ride.

Race 2, a maiden allowance worth $67,100 went to  John Oxley’s TAKEYOURBREATHAWAY, a Tiznow gal who had raced twice last year and was 3rd and 4th. She was a $225K 2yo purchase and had been working strogly for trainer Mark Casse.

Ted Burnett’s LAS MALVEGAS was well prepared to win race 3 for the Mike Mattine stable. The filly had not raced in exactly one year, April 27, 2012, but her prep times were strong. Luis Conterras rode the Kentucky bred by Half Ours.

Race 5 went to the popular gal POSH SOX, owned by Mike Ambler, who also bred the mare. The Best of the Bests (Ire) gal was winning for the 5th time in her 19th start and she wintered in Florida with trainer Nick Gonzalez. She posted a 69 Beyer Figure.
The 6th race was won by ALPHA AWAY, who won going away for Calypso Racing and trainer Mike Silvera. She was 8 to 5 in the maiden $40K race and was also winter raced.

The late DOUBLE kicked off with a lovely ride by Patrick Husbands board SINSTER SPINSTER who won the allowance race for Ontario sired fillies and mares. The homebred for Mario Capobianco stalked inside and then angled out for a strong win and Nick Nosowenko won his first race of the season. The mare is by Mr. Jester out of Dancing Princess by Dance Brightly.

The finale went to AT THE SAGAMORE, a $20,00 claim by Jim Ensom in Fair grounds who was making his return start for just $10K. He got up to win  and was claimed by John Cardella.

Betting on the day was a solid $4.1 million, compared to $4.3 million on the same day last year.

Mike Ambler’s homebred POSH SOX wins her Woodbine 2013 opener for $32,000 claiming – Norm Files photo



WHIMSICAL, should be more fun!

A very competive set of stakes race (Whimsical) and stakes pre (New Providence) highlight a smaller card of racing today. There are 2 five-horse fields on the card but the middle portion is made up of contentious races.

The Whimsical has a 3 pack from trainer NICK GONZALEZ and jockey Eurico da Silva seemingly has picked EVIL KITTEN  to ride. Trainer Mark Casse has SISTERLY LOVE and NORTHERN PASSION entered and the former looks as if she will enjoy sprinting again.

Check out picks and plays on IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE at and in the TORONTO STAR.







EVELYN’S DANCER, Sovereign Award nominee, wins first Hastings stakes

Hastings News by Greg Douglas



Veteran Jockey Told Owners “She’s Ready”

Vancouver, B.C. (April 27/013) – The game plan worked perfectly for jockey Aaron Gryder in Saturday’s $50,000 Brighouse Belles, the season’s inaugural stakes race at Hastings Racecourse.
Gryder told owners Glen Todd and Mark DeDomenico that Evelyn’s Dancer “was ready” and the 4-year-old filly went wire-to-wire over the six and one half furlongs sloppy track in a winning time of 1:17.08.
“I just let her run,” said Gryder.  “It was a great trip.  I told Mr. Todd she was one of the best horses in his stable.”
Evelyn’s Dancer broke sharply and led the seven-horse field with only Overvalued a threat with a strong finish in the stretch.  Evelyn’s Dancer won by a comfortable one and three quarters lengths, paying $3.40, $2.30 and $2.10 as the odds-favourite


HONKERS HOLIDAY debuted yesterday at Golden Gate Fields for $8,000 claiming and was 11th of 12 beaten 13 lengths.
The California-bred is 9-years-old.