Bold Venture: Stern Test for Essence Hit Man

Canadian champion meets unbeaten Eternal Rule in night race at Woodbine July 18.

Essence Hit Man, last year's Canadian champion sprinter, should get a stern test from undefeated Eternal Rule in the $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) on the night of July 18 at Woodbine.

Just five were entered in the 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack test, with Essence Hit Man the 124-pound high weight. The Bold Venture, set for a 9:44 p.m. EDT post, is the seventh race on a rare Woodbine night program.

Owned and bred by Audre and Gordon Cappuccitti and trained by Audre Cappuccitti, Essence Hit Man will be breaking from the rail in the Bold Venture.

The 5-year-old Ontario-bred Speightstown  gelding suffered his first loss in three starts this year when he was unable to hold the lead in the stretch of the Highlander Stakes (Can-IIT) on the grass June 24. He wound up second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the streaking Smokey Fire, who was nominated for the Bold Venture but not entered by trainer Sid Attard.

Essence Hit Man gets back on the Polytrack, where he opened the year with victories in the Jacques Cartier Stakes and Vigil Stakes (Can-III) this spring. The chestnut had a three-race win streak ended in his Highlander defeat. Jesse Campbell retains the mount.

Eternal Rule, trained by Attard for owner Don Myers, gets a class test in the Bold Venture after winning the first five starts of his career.

The lightly raced 4-year-old Tribal Rule gelding is coming off a 2 1/4-length triumph as the favorite in the Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes at Presque Isle Downs June 20. That was the stakes debut for Eternal Rule, whose first four wins came over Woodbine's Polytrack beginning with a maiden allowance score in November 2010.

Eurico Da Silva rides Eternal Rule for the first time. They will break from post 4 while receiving five pounds from the favorite.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Lonesome Street ships in for trainer Michael Maker from Louisville looking for his first win since taking the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) over the Polytrack at Keeneland April 14. The 5-year-old Broken Vow  horse is coming off a fifth in the J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Club Stakes June 20 on the turf at Indiana Downs.

Bergerac was second in the Commonwealth in his first start after being claimed for $80,000 by trainer Chad Brown for owner Paul Pompa Jr. The former Courtlandt Farm homebred was fourth as the favorite in the Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Belmont Park Widener turf course June 8. Like Lonesome Street, this will be the Woodbine debut for the New York shipper.

$150,000 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III, Race 7, 9:44 p.m.), 3 & up, 6 1/2 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse. Jockey, Weight Trainer
1. Essence Hit Man (ON), J M Campbell, 124, A Cappuccitti
2. Lonesome Street (KY), J Castellano, 121, M J Maker
3. Executive Five (ON), D Garcia, 117, K J Katryan
4. Eternal Rule (ON), E R Da Silva, 119, S C Attard
5. Bergerac (KY),  A O Solis, 117, C C Brown