C Lec Machine is running on all cylinders again.
After a tough year that had seen him slip to four seconds
and two thirds in 13 starts, Machine has fashioned
back-to-back-to-back sharp performances.
Last Friday, Machine made it two straight wins in the open
event at Fraser Downs. The six-year-old son of CLechthor out
of Alive And Well was content to take the two-hole right
after the start but roared to the front as they passed the
grandstand for the first time. The 1-2 favorite was never
caught from there, winning by 1¼ lengths in 1:54.4.
Three weeks ago, he rallied from seventh at the half to take
second to Red Star Admiral in the open with a clocking of
1:54.2. Two weeks ago he went one better, winning and
equaling his lifetime best of 1:53.3.
Haras Colta Cola went to the front last week from the
outside of the six-horse field and kept closest to Machine.
Coyote Hanover was third, 2¾ lengths behind the winner.
Machine, who was driven to victory by Gord Abbott, is bred,
owned and trained by Ed Lechner. He now has 14 lifetime wins
with earnings of more than $21,000 this year and more than
ABBOTT LEADS THE WAY: Thanks to a four-bagger last
Saturday, Gord Abbott was the top dog among drivers last
weekend at the Downs.
In addition to the four wins Saturday, Abbott picked up two
victories Friday and his six-pack was two better than the
four triumphs of Jim Marino.
Dave McKellar and Jim Burke each had three wins and Barry
Treen registered two.
Abbott also shared honors, with Mike Glover, as the leading
conditioners, harnessing three horses which made trips to
the winner’s enclosure.
Long-time Downs’ driver Tim Brown got his first win quickly
in California when he drove Stand Up And Shout to victory
for Edgar Clarke last Thursday.
Bill Davis, the perennial top driver at the Downs, was also
speedy, getting his first win at Northlands last Friday with
the Jim Martin-trained Badlands Buddy.
SCOTT THE SUPER SERVER: The new server Fraser Downs
patrons had in the Homestretch last Saturday earned
accolades from customers, fellow servers and bosses.
From a slow start (“this is boring”) to trying to remember
orders, to working up a sweat, to needing roller blades, to
trying to balance, the off-duty marketing and sales manager
eventually won the day.
Oh yes, Scott Sinclair apologizes to servers everywhere, but
particularly at Fraser Downs.
RICH CAM IS QUICK: Rich Cam continues to perform
impressively in Ontario, flying to one of the fastest times
ever by a B.C. bred last Saturday at Woodbine. The son of
Camluck out of Rich Jan, raced the mile in 1:50.3 in the
claiming handicap $50,000 to $58,000 for a purse of $28,000.
Rich Cam was not a factor early as he started from the eight
hole on the gate. He was eighth at the quarter and the half
(by 9¾ lengths) and still seventh at the three quarter pole.
However, with Rick Zeron in the bike, he was flying by this
time on the extreme outside and was fifth at the head of the
stretch. He covered the last quarter in 27 seconds to win by
3¼ lengths over Barnee Rubble.
Rich Cam, who is now owned by Francis H Azur, of Coraopolis,
PA, paid $13.40 to win.
Rustle For It, who won the Miss Valentine stakes at Fraser
Downs in February and registered an impressive win two weeks
ago at Woodbine in Ontario, had to settle for a fourth last
Friday at Woodbine.
The daughter of Rustler Hanover moved from a fillies and
mares event for a purse of $15,000 to one for $23,000 and
led most of the way before being caught in the stretch.
Alls Well, a long shot, won in a time of 1:52.3 with Rustle
For It, owned by Niele Jiwan, three lengths back.
Meanwhile at Northlands Park, in the winners-over event last
Saturday, Armbro Bolton, who had Larry Micallef handling
double duties, and Infinite Dreams, driven and trained by
Dave Hudon, were fifth and sixth. Dudes Leaving Town won for
the second straight week in a time of 1:53.4.
Hudon’s Keldanigmar and Armbro Bach, trained by Ray Gemmill,
were second and third respectively in a non-winners $16,000
or conditional $50,000 claiming event on the same card.
Former Downs’ competitor Duke Is Duke, who won the same
event the previous week, was installed as a 2-1 favorite,
but finished last in the field of eight. Rich Camelot, fresh
from a Stallion Stake triumph, was fifth as Token Favorite
won in 1:55.1.
Lil Dude Starrbuck , owned by Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey, was
a star among the headliners in action at Mohawk qualifiers
Starrbuck, winner of the 2004 Western Canadian Pacing Derby
in Edmonton and a winner of Stakes at Fraser Downs, tuned up
for a return to the races with the fastest mile of the
morning session – a 1:52.1 clocking for trainer Kevin
McMaster and driver Luc Ouellette.
The four-year-old son of Threefold had fractions of 26.3,
56.2 and 1:25.1 before roaring home in 27 seconds.
Starrbuck edged Quality Western, a career winner of
$636,175, by a quarter of a length.