Day At The Track

Diamond Tiara leads nation with her 11 wins

01:16 AM 23 Apr 2014 NZST
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Diamond Tiara, harness racing
Diamond Tiara posts her 11th win this year
Photo by Geri Schwarz
It is almost unbelievable that this year another Monticello Raceway -based pacer is again leading the country in harness races won. Last year Tracys Song went on a winning tear and now Diamond Tiara is duplicating her efforts this season and the 7 -year- old daughter of McArdle is wearing her crown confidently.

At the Mighty M on the warm and sunny afternoon of April 21, Diamond Tiara won for the 11th time this season and she continues to lead North America in races won this year. And her 1:57.4 triumph was her seventh consecutive.

Despite having to start from the eight hole, driver Jimmy Taggart, Jr. hustled Diamond Tiara away from the mobile gate and even passed-up the two-hole opting to be on the front-end.

Austin Siegelman had grabbed command with Thunder Seelster as the field charged into the first turn but when Taggart passed up the two-hole Siegelman thought he'd better let Diamond Tiara take the lead rather than hooking up in a speed duel.

"My mare has quick speed and I really wanted to be on the front-end," Taggart said in the winner's circle after the race. "She loves to be on the lead and she relaxes once she gets there."

Diamond Tiara had command as she came off the first turn and although Taggart eased her off they still passed the quarter in :28.4. Confident on the lead Diamond Tiara coasted through fractions of :59.3 and 1:29 before she had any real challenges.

On the final turn Taggart let the mare have her head and she opened daylight on the field and rambled home an easy three length-winner on the strength of a :28.4 final quarter to post a seasons best of 1:57.4.

Sent off at odds of 13-10 Diamond Tiara paid $4.40 for win and strangely her place price was $10.00. She's owned by Philip Schultz and trained by Mike Watson and for Taggart it was his second driving victory on the eight-race program.

After the completion of the racing program and Taggart was changing into his street clothes in the paddock locker room he took a moment or two to muse about Diamond Tiara's current feat.

"She (Diamond Tiara) was really at the top of her game today," Taggart offered. "Last week she was a little sluggish at the end of the mile but today she finished strong. She's such a pleasure to drive."

by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway
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