Day At The Track

Diamond Tiara does it again, scores 16th win this year

02:18 AM 02 Jul 2014 NZST
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Diamond Tiara, harness racing
Diamond Tiara seems to be winking at the photographer in scoring her 16th win
Photo by Geri Schwarz

The beat goes on for Diamond Tiara. Not only did the 7 year old daughter of McArdle win for the 16th time this year at Monticello Raceway on June 30 but for the second straight week she was claimed.

Last Monday (June 27) Diamond Tiara was taken from Mike Watson's barn via a $9000 claim by trainer Al Annunziata after the pacing mare won in 1:55.3 which was her 15th seasonal triumph. This Monday (June 30) Annunziata reclaimed her for the same price from Philip Schultz after Diamond Tiara won again and she continues to lead all harness horses in races won in North America.

Even though Jimmy Taggart, Jr. had been Mike Watson's driver of choice when Diamond Tiara raced for Annunziata last week Bruce Aldrich Jr. handled the driving chores.

Yesterday Taggart was back in the bike for Watson and drove the mare to a 1:56.2 victory despite being roughed up in the first quarter which was paced in :27.3.

After taking a tuck on the first turn Taggart wheeled Diamond Tiara out to challenge and took command after the first stanza. Once on the engine Diamond Tiara did what she does best and outpaced any and all competition even in the deep stretch when Mayabelle and Zeke Parker pulled the two-hole and was rebuffed and had to settle for second money a full length behind the winner.

Known that Diamond Tiara was again claimed Taggart was asked about it. "She's certainly a tough one to loose. But I don't blame people for claiming her. I'd want her too," he said.

Sent off again as the odds-on favorite Diamond Tiara paid $3.10 for win.

After the race Al Annunziata was contacted in the paddock and told that there was another claim in Diamond Tiara but his was the one picked in a lottery drawing.

"I claimed her back because she raced giant for me, too," he said. "I'm sure glad that I got her again but now I got to find a class for her."

by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

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