Bach wins big, claimed big

It was a big day last Saturday at Northlands for Armbro Bach.

The son of Village Jiffy out of Lindwood Metra, won a non-winners $16,001 last six starts, optional claiming $50,000 (plus allowances) for a purse of $15,000.

After winning, Bach, owned by Ray Gemmill and Ian Moyes of Surrey and Ron Waples of Guelph, ON, was claimed by White Rock’s Robert Murphy for $62,500. It was the highest claiming price paid so far this year in Alberta.

Bach, driven by Don Monkman, Jr., was impressive as he paced the mile in 1:53.4 and came home in 27.4 seconds. He won by 1¼ lengths over Token Favorite, who was indeed the 3-2 favorite. Bach, a 3-1 shot, was sixth at the half, fell to eighth (six lengths back) at the three-quarter pole and then roared home.

Other familiar names to the Downs – Keldanigmar, Duke Is Duke and Red Star Admiral were fourth, sixth and eighth respectively.

We Winnie Winston, owned by Lindsay Nyuli of Abbotsford, was strong in winning
a non-winners two or $9,800 life, five years old and younger for a purse of $6,800.

Winnie, a son of Usher Hanover, won by a whopping 7½ lengths in 1:55.4 for driver Jerv Clifton and trainer Vern Sifert.

Betterfrombehind extended her lifetime unbeaten streak to 12, by the narrowest of margins, as she won by a nose in an elimination for the Compass Rose stake for three-year-old fillies at Northlands.

Better, a 1-9 favorite, edged Guestimate in one of three elims last Friday. She went gate to wire in a time of 1:56 with driver Bill Davis.

Betterfrombehind, owned by J J J Stable of Aldergrove and Al and Mark Anderson of California, has drawn the six-hole in this Friday’s final.

Other B.C.-connected horses in the final are Robert-Murphy-owned Red Star Dreamglo, who was third to Betterfrombehind, and Red Star Ginny, second in her elim.

BURKE TOP FINISHER: Jim Burke was the top driver on the last weekend of the 2004-05 live racing meet.

Burke had a handful of wins, three on Friday, to pace all and run his meet total to 90.

Barry Treen was second with three victories while Gord Abbott, Scott Knight, Glenn White and Darren Howald had two each. Howald’s wins, which came on Saturday, comprised the first multiple win day of his career.

Gord Abbott had two triumphs as a trainer and he was the only conditioner with more than one. Some of the trainers with smaller stables who got victories were Jane Kelly, Alex Lavery, Joe Howald, David Woolley, Sam Robinson, Malcolm MacDonald, Mike Short and Roy Johnson.

IMPORTANT MEETING: Race fans are reminded that the formal redevelopment presentation for Sandown Park will now be made Monday, June 13 in North Saanich Council chambers.

The meeting will get under way at 7 p.m. and all supporters of harness racing and the development of Sandown are strongly urged to attend. Anyone interested is asked to call Jackie Ballas at 250-656-1631.

STARRBUCK SHINES: Lil Dude Starrbuck, owned by Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey, finished second last Saturday in his first start at Woodbine on Ontario.

The four-year-old son of Threefold, trained by Kevin McMaster and driven by Luc Ouellette, led through much of the fog-plagued race, before finishing behind Duca who won by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4.

The non-winners $22,500 last six starts or non-winners five races or $125,000 lifetime event went for a purse of $28,000.

Among those behind Starrbuck, winner of the 2004 Western Canadian Pacing Derby in Edmonton and a winner of Stakes races at Fraser Downs, was race favorite Rich Cam.
Rich Cam, also a former B.C. competitor, was seventh, 3½ lengths behind the winner.

Rustle For It, who won the Miss Valentine stakes at Fraser Downs in February and registered an impressive win three weeks ago at Woodbine in Ontario, lost by a nose last Friday at Woodbine.

The daughter of Rustler Hanover, racing in a fillies and mares event for a purse of $24,000, used a 28.2 second last quarter to just miss catching Rafaella Seelster who won in 1:54.

Rustle For It, owned by Niele Jiwan of Burnaby, was an 11-1 shot.