C Lec Machine appears to be 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 sharp performances.

Two 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.

Last Friday he went one better. The six-year-old son of CLechthor out of Alive And Well, equaled his lifetime best of 1:53.3 in winning the open over a field of seven.

Nuclear Dew raced to the front with Haras Colta Colta in close pursuit (but on the outside). Cola soon tired and Dew and Machine then staged a duel the rest of the way.
Machine pulled away for a 2 1/4-length margin of victory while Dew held on for second and Make Some Noise, the only mare in the field, was third.

"We got a great two-hole trip," winning driver Gord Abbott said after the race. "He (Machine) don’t like to quit."

Machine is bred, owned and trained by Ed Lechner. He now has 13 lifetime wins with earnings of more than $16,000 this year and more than $80,000 lifetime.

DAVIS, BROWN LEAD WAY, LEAVE: Bill Davis and Tim Brown made their swan song weekends sweet as they led the driver standings last weekend at the Downs.

Davis, thanks to four wins Sunday, and Brown, with three wins Saturday, each had five victories on the weekend.

They hold first and third spot respectively in the driver results for the meet but their figures will no longer climb. Davis has left for Edmonton to compete at Northlands Park and Brown has departed for Sacramento and action at Cal-Ex.

Scott Knight, Jim Burke and Daniel St Amand each had three wins while Jim Marino had two.

Four conditioners - Davis, Alan Anderson, Wendell Smith and Wayne Isbister -- tied for top trainer honors with two triumphs apiece.

Jackie Scheepbouwer got her first training win of 2005 with Bill Of Expence and Tim Mosterd did the same with You Are My Heaven.

YEA BILL! In a day with eight lifetime marks set (four in the Stakes events), the show stealer last Saturday was a guy getting his maiden victory.

Bill Of Expence, owned by Ann and Jackie Scheepbouwer, trained by Jackie and bred by Ann, waited to start No. 48 before powering to victory. Piloted by Bill Davis, the four-year-old son of Dal Reo Hop Sing out of Nuclear Freedom raced to victory in 2:00.4.

Bill now has the win to go along with four seconds and four thirds in 16 starts this year.
The new marks (other than the Stakes) went to Gottogivetoreceive (2:00.4), Big Z Rudi (1:57.4), Red Star Areba (1:57.2) and Raggidy Andy (1:58).

BACK SANDOWN: The formal redevelopment presentation for Sandown Park will be 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.

RUSTLE HUSTLES: Rustle For It, who won the Miss Valentine stakes at Fraser Downs in February, registered an impressive win last Friday at Woodbine in Ontario.

The daughter of Rustler Hanover won a fillies and mares event for a purse of $15,000 for owner Niele Jiwan of Burnaby. Rustle For It, a 2-1 favorite, went gate to wire from the rail to win in a blazing 1:52.3.

Meanwhile, Rich Cam, another former Downs competitor, came up with a good performance but fell short last Saturday at Woodbine.

Rich Cam raced to the front from the nine hole in the claiming handicap $50,000 to $58,000 for a purse of $28,000. He still led by 1 ˝ lengths at the three-quarter but the 54.1-second half took its toll and he tied for fourth, five lengths back.

The race was won in 1:50.3 by 50-1 long-shot Candys Pool, who is trained by Casie Coleman.

Meanwhile at Northlands Park, former Downs’ competitor Duke Is Duke was victorious in an optional claiming event for $50,000 last Saturday. Trained and driven by Scott Cisco, Duke went the mile in 1:54.3 in winning by two lengths over the favored Tajma Hall.

Armbro Blacktie and The Bruster, both former Downs participants, were fourth and eighth respectively.

In the winners-over event on the same card, Infinite Dreams, driven and trained by Dave Hudon and Armbro Bolton, who had Larry Micallef handling double duties, were fourth and fifth behind winner Dudes Leaving Town. The time for the mile was 1:54.4.