Is Bach back?


Not that he was ever that bad, but Armbro Bach got only his first win of 2006 – in his eighth start -- last Saturday in the claiming $35,000 (non-winners of $7,500 last six) event at the Downs.


Bach, a five-year-old son of Village Jiffy, was the winner of 11 races and $163,000-plus in 2005.


In a tough field of seven, Bach started from the six-hole and was unhurried early. He was third over and moved to fourth at the three-quarter mark, and came home best (28.1 seconds) to win by a length in 1:54.2.


Hot Venture, from the outside post, and 1-5 favored entry Sergeirachpaninoff and Duke Is Duke battled through the first half. Duke pulled, followed by Accent Seelster and Bach, a 4-1 choice, and they were second, third and fourth on the outside at the three-quarter pole.


Bach, with driver Jim Burke, got home first while Accent Seelster, at 21-1, finished a quarter of a length ahead of third-place Hot Venture with Duke Is Duke fourth.


Armbro Bach, who is trained by Bob Merschback, now has career earnings of more than $230,000. 


FOUR STRAIGHT FOR EL TORO: This is no bull, El Toro is one fast – and hot – horse.


El Toro, a four-year-old son of Jate Lobell, captured his fourth straight victory last Friday at the Downs. El Toro needed one race to be get acclimatized here and since has mounted his winning streak. His four wins have brought him more than $14,000 in earnings in 2006 for trainer Mike Glover and driver Jim Marino.


Carwins C E O, a six-year-old son of Die Laughing, is another on fire. He captured his third successive victory for trainer Diana Davie and driver Gord Abbott while lowering his career best clocking to 1:56. It was quite a night for owner Ron Julien who also won more than $550 in the Greener Pastures 50/50 draw.


Red Star Dusty is a third horse on a roll. Although moving up in class, the five-year-old son of Just Camelot made it three in a row for trainer Ann Cooper and driver Tim Brown. He also lowered his lifetime mark to 1:57.2 and pushed his career earnings to more than $101,000.


Gemini Ridge, a four-year-old daughter of Falcons Future, covered the mile in 1:58.4 to lower her career best for the second straight week for trainer/driver Rick White.


Others to achieve career bests on Friday were: Red Star Soprano, 1:54.2 (also 10-4-2-2 in 2006), Tahuya Emory A 1:57.3 and Strengthandhonour, at eight years of age 1:56.3.


Cher The Wealth, a six-year-old daughter of Wheelin Chance, made it two in a row and five wins (and a second) in her last six starts last Saturday for trainer/driver Tim Brown. She has won more than $22,500 in 2006.


Fast N Lucky (Dancing Puddles) won her first of 2006 but it was in a new lifetime mark of 1:59.3, Daves Showboat (Deamons Bell), a 32-1 shot, also had a career best 1:58.1 in a race where the top four were separated by half a length and the top six by two lengths.


Coco Bongo (Northern Luck) also went her fastest ever, 1:57.1 in running her record in 2006 to 10-4-3-1.

I The Undersigned (Thatll Be Me) won Saturday and now sports a 10-4-2-3 mark in 2006.


Skippy Blue Shoe, a four-year-old son of Usher Hanover, had four seconds in his previous six starts but he won last Sunday in a career best time of 1:58.2.


Classic Socks (Kents On Nuke) lowered her lifetime best clocking to 1:59.1 while Tackman (Dal Reo Hop Sing) cut his to 1:59.2. 


JOHN ABBOTT OFF AND PACING: While Jim Marino climbed back into the lead in wins among Fraser Downs’drivers it was milestones that grabbed much of the attention last weekend.


The biggest was the first-ever victory as a trainer for 20-year-old John Abbott. Classic Socks, a four-year-old daughter of Kents On Nuke, owned by John, brother Mark and dad Gord, raced to her first win of 2006 in a career best time of 1:59.1 on Sunday.


John has only had his trainer’s licence since late in 2005 and his horses had made 12 starts. Oh yes, dad Gord drove Socks to the win.


Randy Webster picked up his first win of 2006 as a trainer and driver as he piloted Silvery Belle, a three-year-old daughter of Just Camelot, to her maiden victory. Webster, who also owns Belle, was making his fourth start of the year.


Dave Hudon, meanwhile, won the 1,537th race of his career on Saturday, but it seemed so long since he won last that he got the water bucket treatment usually reserved for first-time winners. Hudon drove Hy On Freedom to the win, ending a cold

snap of driving wins with horses he also trains. It actually wasn’t all that long (it just seemed that way) as the last victory came on Feb. 12.


Marino, meanwhile, chalked up seven wins as a driver, to run his meet total to 116, five more than Bill Davis who has moved on to Northlands (although he returned for stake action Saturday).


Tim Brown grabbed a handful of wins while Jim Burke had four, Gord Abbott and Barry Treen three each and Rick White two.


Brown and Treen lead all trainers with three victories apiece followed by White, Sten Ericsson, Erik Neyhart, Ann Cooper, Mike Glover and Bob Merschback with two each.