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Kj Erich won the Monticello Raceway harness racing Open Pace for the first time since January as he finished strongly in the Apr. 13 contest.   Driver Jim Taggart Jr. utilized the horse's best post draw in weeks to drop him into the four-hole early, but he pulled the gelding back out before the quarter in :28. Kj Erich marched to the front and cleared easily. He then took the field to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.2.   First-over challenger Blacktree (Michael Merton) and pocket horse Weekend Atnannies (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took their shots down the stretch, but Kj Erich repelled both to win by three quarters of a length in 1:55.4. Blacktree got second, and Epaulette A circled up for show.   KJ ERICH REPLAY     Kj Erich is now 33-for-171 lifetime with more than $205,000 earned for owners and breeders Scott Woogen of North Chesterfield, Brenda Messenger of Monticello, and Philip Shapiro of Haworth. Gary Messenger trains the eight-year-old son of Roll With Joe.   Taggart completed a "Kj" triple on the day as he also won the second with Kj Michael Gary (1:59) and third with Kj Chico (1:59.1).   Monticello Raceway is back on Wednesday, Apr. 14 with seven races beginning at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Monticello, NY - On Wednesday, March 10 at Monticello Raceway, Jim Taggart Jr. won 4 races on the 8 race harness racing card. The banner day started in the second race aboard Quik Pulse Mindale gelding Heart Throb Kid (2:01.4 - $26.60); it was the first seasonal win for the Francis McCahey trainee. Chance To See (1:58.4-$5.50) by We Will See notched his 3rd win of the season over SB Mikes Hot Beach. Next up was aptly timed Western Ideal gelding Stimulus Plan (2:00.1 - $3.00) trained by Dan Gill. Taggart's last win of the day was with Spider Dragon who scored a wire to wire win over Vel Miss Fire in 2:00.1, the gelded son of Dragon Again is trained by Gary Messenger for owner CL Huckabone of Utica NY. With the 4 wins on the card, Taggart is in 5th place for leading Dash drivers with 27 trips to the winners circle. For full race results, click here. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

On Wednesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway Jim Taggart Jr. had a driving Grand Slam on the 12 race harness racing card. Taggart wasted no time, winning the first race with Cerisier (2:00-$10.20) after a short hiatus until race 6 he visited the winners circle with Askmelater Hanover (1:58.4- $6.90). And then with Smart Talker (1:58.4-$16.00) who earned his first win of the year, the 4-year-old Well Said gelding is trained by Danny Gill. The Grand Slam occurred in the last race of the day aboard Man He Can Skoot (1:58.1-$3.30) for trainer Francis McCahey. Taggart is the second leading dash winning driver with 112 wins behind the leader Bruce Aldrich Jr. with 129. Trainers Raheim Strong and Greg Decker each enjoyed a training double on the afternoon, Jim Devaux, Greg Merton and Kyle Dibenedetto all scored a driving double on the card. Live Racing resumes Monday December 28 with a 12:25 Post. Shawn Wiles

Monticello NY- Harness racing drivers Jim Taggart Jr. and Greg Merton both will be enjoying a festive Thanksgiving as Taggart won 4 races and Greg Merton won 3 on Wednesday November 25 at Monticello Raceway. For Taggart the last time that he recorded this feat was just a month ago on October 26. The day started off on the right foot as Taggart won race 1 aboard Grave Dancer who scored a 3 length victory in 1:58 for trainer Dan Gill. 2 races later Taggart was back in the winner circle with the Gary Messenger trained KJ Owen who earned his 2nd win of the year after pacing the mile in 1:55.4 in a 7 length romp. His 3rd win came virtue of a Dead Heat in race 8 with Chip Chip Conway and Hot Summer Knight (Cory Stratton) the pair trotted the mile in 1:58.4. Superiorcourt was win #4, the Rick Harp trained son of Conway Court went wire to wire from post position 7 to win in 1:59.1 to notch his 3 win of the year. Greg Merton won with Threehundred Wirth 1:57.2 - $4.40, Rise Up Now 1:57.1 - $4.70 and Tinos Pulse 1:58.3- $16.40. Also of note on the card Cory Stratton drove 2 winners, Trainer Gay Messenger and Dan Gill each trained 2 winners on the 13 race program. Jim Taggart Jr. trails Bruce Aldrich for leading dash winning driver at the Mighty M by 20 wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Loud Splash, a son of Thinking Out Loud who was the longest shot on the board in the $16,000 claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon, came from way back to post a 1:51.2 victory in a race where seven of the eight entrants were within 1¼ lengths of each other at the finish. Despite showing good closing ability in his last four starts, Loud Splash was dismissed at 27-1, probably because he was going up to the track's highest price level and drew the disadvantageous post six. But driver Jim Taggart Jr. had him out in a good cover flow, tipped him four-wide from sixth at headstretch, and guided him home strongly to win by a head over Burning Midnight, whose cover he followed most of the way, with Daamericansky another head shy coming up the Pocono Pike.   But Loud Splash proved most photogenic in the contentious affair for trainer Tee Wine and owner Samuel Abdoo, and now has won three of his last four trips behind the gate. Loud Splash paid $56.40 to win. A $12,000 conditioned pace looked like a good opportunity for the sophomore Scootnroll to improve his lifetime record to 10 for 11, and indeed he got to the lead in front of the stands and was still in command as they turned for home. But the Mysticism gelding Gold Star Yoder, whom Scootnroll had supplanted on the engine, moved from the pocket to the Pocono Pike, and the 19-1 shot went past the 1-9 shot for a half length victory in 1:51.3. Anthony Napolitano drove the Eric Mollor trainee for Niss Allen Inc. George Napolitano Jr. led all drivers with four victories on the Saturday card; his brother Anthony and Simon Allard were right behind with three (all three of Allard's were for trainer Ron Burke). For "George Nap," it was quite a productive 27½ hours, as during that timeframe he won fourteen races - seven at Harrah's Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, three more at The Meadowlands last night, and then the four at the mountain oval this afternoon. Favorites won six of the first seven races, then were shut out for the balance of the card. From the PHHA / The Downs

Monticello, NY - On a cold muddy day at the famed Catskill Mountain oval, harness racing driver Jim Taggart, Jr. had a hot hand and drove four winners on the afternoon card. Gary Messenger enjoyed a training triple, Michael Merton and Mcgwire Sowers each both enjoyed a driving double at Monticello Raceway. Taggart's 4 bagger started in the second race with Holiday Hanover (PP6) a 3 length winner in 2:00 and returned a paltry $2.20 to win, next up was Roll With Joy (PP1) a 2 length winner in 1:59 - $4.90. Topville Olivia scored a wire to wire win in 1:58.2 for trainer Monica Eriksen. The final win of the day came in race 8 with Askmelater Hanover a five length winner in 2:00.3 - $2.40. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Tuesday afternoon January 28, harness racing driver Jim Taggart Jr notched a career milestone as he won his 5,000 win aboard GD Striker in the 8th race at Monticello Raceway.   GD Striker wired the field in a 5 length victory 2:01.2 - $3.20 over New York Attitude (Renaldo Morales III) who finished second followed by London Hanover (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) The 49-year-old Taggart has been a fixture of the Mighty M for decades, the PA native has enjoyed much success with trainer Gary Messenger, ironically is was a Messenger trained horse that earned Taggart the covenanted 5000 win. GD Striker picked up his first win of the 2020 season, he is a 4-year-old gelding by Guccio and is owned by Jason Darling of Burlington NJ. During his career his mounts have earned $24,710,856 in purses, Taggart was the leading dash winning driver at Monticello Raceway for 2019, presently he is in 3rd place with 17 wins behind Greg Merton (18) and Bruce Aldrich Jr. (19).   by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello NY - The curtain fell on the 2019 harness racing season at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon December 31 and between the races the awards for leading trainer and driver were handed out. Trainer Gary Messenger won honors for leading dash winning trainers and Jim Taggart Jr. took top honors for leading dash winning drivers. The relationship of Gary Messenger and Jim Taggart Jr has been very prolific since Taggart became the main driver for the Gary Messenger Stables 10 years ago. The duo was responsible for the 2018 Monticello Raceway Horse of the Year, Warrawee Preferred, and many other top performers over the years. Both horseman has been mainstays at Monticello for decades, Messenger a native of Monticello NY and the 49-year-old Taggart hails from nearby Honesdale, PA. Gary Messenger harnessed 488 starters over the course of the 2019 season at Monticello Raceway with 113 winners with a UDRS of .383 and a winning percentage of a respectable 23%. His starters earned $440,571 for the barn with earnings per start of $903. As a trainer with over 500 starts, Messenger ranked 12th in the nation for trainers with over 500 starts with 153 wins and stable earnings of $797,354. James Doherty Jr finished in second place with 95 wins trailed by former leading trainer Robert Lounsbury with 85 wins Jim Taggart Jr. took top honors for leading dash winning driver with 254 wins, Michael Merton was second with 211 and former multiple dash winner Monticello Raceway driver Bruce Aldrich was 3rd with a win tally of 208. Last season Jim Taggart finished 5th with 168 wins. Taggart's mounts earned $893,141 for the year Also on the card were 4 horses making their final lifetime start. The 14 year olds Crypto Man, My Cool Breeze, Briars Creeks Angel and Elias Joy. The 11 race card produced the 2nd highest handle of the year with $810,575 wagered with a per race average of $73,688. Live racing will resume on Thursday Jan 2 with post time at 12:20, Monticello will also offer live racing on Friday January 3. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - On Wednesday afternoon October 16, harness racing driver Jim Taggart Jr won 4 races on a soggy afternoon at the famed Catskill Mountains oval. Taggart wasted no time in getting on the board as he scored a 2 length victory in the first race with Needles And Pins in 1:57.3 ($2.90) for trainer Anthony Regina, giving the aged mare by Village Jove her 7th win of the year. Next up in race 6 was Coco Hall in 2:01.1 ($3.50) owned by Brenda Messenger and Scott Woogen for trainer Gary Messenger, the 5-year-old Amigo Hall mare has won 4 of her last 6 outings. Keystone Honor gave Taggart his 3rd win, the Dennis Laterza trained son of Bettors Delight won by 5 lengths in 1:57.2 and returned $10.60. In the last race is was Angelic Speed in 2:04.1 ($2.20) the win gave Gary Messenger a training double on the card. The four wins on the card helped Taggart boost his seasonal win tally to 198 wins for the year, gaining ground on leading dash winner Michael Merton with 207. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY -  Monticello Raceway held the 3rd Annual Elizabeth Miller Memorial on Wednesday afternoon  Elizabeth was the matriarch of the prominent Miller clan of New Berlin NY who have raced in central NY for decades. Elizabeth was active for many years at the Otsego County Fair and served as secretary of the New York Sire Stakes as well as tending the family's dairy farm and harness racing operation. The memorial race was a RUS (Racing Under Saddle) event with 4 horses going in behind the gate. As the gate sprung RCS Ready PP3 (Hillary Hartnett) and Funny Photo PP4 (Sophie Engerran) trotted in tandem and went stride for stride with each other with RCS Ready cutting the mile with Funny Photo parked on the outside. The duo passed the quarter in 30.2 and the half in 1:01. RCS Ready began to tire going into the clubhouse turn the second time, but the fit Funny Photo had plenty left in reserve despite being parked to the half. Sophie Engerran keep the 10-year-old son of Classic Photo on the bit and had 4 lengths on the pack when she reached the ¾ marker in 1:34. Their lead continued to increase coming down the stretch and won in 2:06.4 by 10 lengths, trotting the last quarter in 32.4. Railroad Lane (Cathy Gearwar) rallied in the lane to finish second, with RCS Ready 3rd. Funny Photo is also trained by Sophie Engerran and is owned by Enge Training Stable LLC of Stillwater NY. Jim Taggart Jr. dominated the harness racing card Wednesday winning five races on the afternoon, four of the victories came in consecutive races. The win streak started in the second half of the early daily double in race 2 aboard Road Untraveled from the rail, the Dave Dziengiel trained son of the recently deceased Stallion Grimfromeartoear notched his 9 win of the year, scoring in 1:57 ($3.80) Natalie Hanover was up next from post position 6, she worked hard to make the front end but once she did, she cruised to a win in 1:59 ($4.90) Needles And Pins also started from the rail had a similar trip as Natalie Hanover and scored in 1:58 ($5.00), the 11 year old gelding by Village Jove scored his 5th seasonal win for trainer Anthony Regina. Race 5 saw Lightupbullville bull his way to the front end and never looked back, scoring an easy 7 length win and the fastest mile of the day in 1:56.3 ($2.80) for longtime Monticello Raceway trainer Murray Bassen for owners Gray Thunder II Stables of New Rochelle NY. After a brief 2 race hiatus, he scored with former Monticello Raceway Horse of the Year Warrawee Preferred, the 8-year-old gelded son of Federal Flex is trained by Gary Messenger and won it 1:57.3 ($4.00) and is on the cusp to eclipse over $225,000 in lifetime earnings. The 49-year-old Taggart currently is in second place in the Monticello driver's colony with 184 wins, trailing leader Michael Merton with 203 wins, rounding out the top 3 leading dash winners is Austin Siegelman with 143. For full race results and entries click here.  by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

On Thursday afternoon June 20, Jim Taggart Jr. put on a harness racing driving clinic and won 5 races on the card, Taggart didn't get hot until race 5 where he drove TKR'S Metro Specs to victory in 1:58.2 and returned a $8.70-win pari mutuel. Next up was College Hanover ($2.40) who scored a 5-length wire to wire win in 1:57 for trainer Richard Dunn. Cheyenne Danny won from the 8 hole in 1:56.2 - $3.20, the son of Cheyenne Rei is trained by Dan Gill. Taggart's fourth trip to the winner's circle came aboard the Bob Loundsbury trained Persist Blue Chip (1:57 - $3.50) Needles and Pins ($2.80 - 1:57.4) would account for the 5th winner of the afternoon, it was the third win of the season for Needles and Pins, the 11 year old gelding is trained by Anthony Regina. Taggart currently is in third place (109) for leading dash winning drivers at Monticello Raceway, behind Austin Siegelman (143) and Michael Merton (131) $736,029 was wagered on the 12-race card, New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-Old Pacing Colts is on tap for Monday afternoon June 24, post time is 12:50 for the 9-race card.   By: Shawn Wiles

Roundtown Rocker (Jim Taggart Jr.) charges late to take the Tioga Downs featured harness racing pace ($9,000) on Saturday (May 18). Meadowbranch Ricky put up all the early fractions (:27.4, :57.0, 1:25.2). Roundtown Rocker ($14.20), who is trained by Rick Dane for owners Scott Dane and the Rock&Roll Stable, was third after three-quarters. He went flying in the stretch and wore down second place finisher Meadowbranch Ricky to win in a seasonal best time of 1:55.3. Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) came up late to finish third. Roundtown Rocker is a 6-year-old gelding by Hard Rock N Roll. It was his second win this season. He now has 33 career victories. Jim Taggart Jr. had two more wins on the night. His other wins came with Soho Hanover ($9.00) and Six Bax ($6.00). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs with a 13 race card on Sunday (May 19) starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

The countdown is on to the Breeders' Crown, now just a couple weeks away from taking place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Based on some of the incredible stakes performances being delivered recently at other tracks around the country, this has the making of one of the most memorable Breeders Crown editions in many years. We can't wait, but we also don't want to give short shrift to the excellent overnight action going on each and every racing night at Pocono. With that in mind, let's hand out some Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: PEMBROKE WILDCAT Throughout the summer and even into the early part of September, this six-year-old gelding competed against the toughest claimers on the grounds at Pocono. He was often a kind of best-of-the-rest competitor, but that started to change when worked out a pocket trip for a victory in the $30,000-$40,000 claiming handicaps on September 22 in 1:50, a new career-best. The following week, Pembroke Wildcat once again worked out the perfect trip and scored, this time in 1:51.4. On Saturday night, he once again faced off with the $30,000-$40,000 claiming handicappers, leaving from post position #2 in a field of eight. Pembroke Wildcat was made a 6-5 second choice behind Ideal Kiss at 2-5, even though he had beaten Ideal Kiss in one of his previous two victories. Perhaps bettors were a bit skeptical about the fact that he had need a trip to win the previous two. When Pembroke Wildcat got away mid-pack while Ideal Kiss set the pace, it was time for him to prove that he had another trick up his sleeve. Driver Anthony Napolitano sent Pembroke Wildcat, trained by Brittany Robertson, on a first-over journey on the back stretch to try and corral the leaders. Once he pulled up even, Pembroke Wildcat flew right on past the defenseless Ideal Kiss and kept right on rolling until he hit the line in front by two lengths in 1:50.1. There shouldn't be any more lingering doubts about this gelding, because he certainly picked up that third straight victory the hard way. Other top pacers this week include: Voracity (Eric Carlson, Ron Burke), who moved up in class on Saturday night but still managed his second consecutive condition win in sub-1:50 territory, pacing the mile in 1:49.4; Zero The Hero (George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes), who tore it up on Saturday night for this third straight claiming win, this one coming in 1:49.4; and That Man Of Mine (George Napolitano Jr.,), whose win on Saturday night in a claiming handicap in 1:51.4 gave him five victories in a row, four of which have come at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: TWO AM Sunday night's featured condition trot with a purse of $21,500 was filled to the brim with trotters who were having excellent seasons. Two AM, a four-year-old gelding trained by Todd Buter, came into the race with four victories on the season, but none quite at the level he was dealing with on Sunday night. Still, he had won his previous race at Pocono on September 29 in 1:53.4, and was a star as a three-year-old, so the move up in class wasn't completely out of the question. With Tyler Buter in the bike, Two AM sat back early as the pace was set by Crazshana. Tyler Buter waited for some cover and then sent the gelding second-over once he found that cover on the back stretch in the form of Elysium Lindy. That horse carried Two AM as far as he could go before starting to tire. The same fate befell Crazshana, who started to feel it in the lane as well. That left Prairie Fortune, the 3-2 favorite who was sitting in the pocket, and Two AM, who was revving up out wide. Two AM may have had the tougher journey, but it didn't stop him from showing powerful closing kick. In fact, he out-trotted Prairie Fortune and came up a winner by three-parts of a length. His winning time of 1:52.4 was the fastest that anyone trotted at Pocono this past week. With his second straight victory, this time against the toughest trotters on the grounds, Two AM is looking very much like the big earner he was just a year ago. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Mighty Macko (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a three-year-old filly who scored her second straight condition win on Sunday night, this one in 1:55.3; Silvermass Volo (Eric Carlson, Michael Holcman), who powered to a condition victory on Saturday night in 1:53.3; and Cant U Spell (George Napolitano Jr., Jody Riedel), who moved up in class on Tuesday night to captures his second straight condition trot and get it done in a career-best 1:54.2. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RAISING KERCKHAERT It was a memorable maiden victory for this trotter, as he picked up a condition won on Sunday night with Jim Taggart Jr. in the bike at 49-1, paying off $101.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JIM TAGGART JR. Taggart was the guy you wanted this week if you liked long shots, as he brought home a 49-1 on Sunday night with Raising Kerckheart and then scored at 10-1 with Sneak On Bye on Monday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT DI DOMENICO Di Domenico always seem to bring in a high percentage of winners at Pocono, and he managed victories with both of his starters on Sunday night. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

Tioga Downs hosted three harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old colts and geldings on Friday ((July 20). Each division raced for a purse of $37,966. Cavill Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) wins first division of the NYSS. JNR Express (Jim Marohn Jr) jumped out to the lead hitting the first quarter in :28.0 and the half in :59.3. Cavill Hanover ($8.20) took control on the backstretch. Trained by Svanstedt for owners Little E LLC., Vanersol Inc., and Wolgang A Stable inc., he would lead them to three-quarters in 1:27.3 and win going away in a lifetime best of 1:56.4. JNR Express held for second. Kredit Karma (Brian Sears) finished third. Cavill Hanover is a 2-year-old colt by Muscle Mass-Cr Calendar Girl. He is now two for two in his young career. Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) is impressive in the second division of the NYSS. Brady Bunch (Andy Miller) controlled all the early fractions (:29.0, :59.0, 1:27.3). Gimpanzee ($3.40) went first-over from third before the three-quarter mark. Trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., and SRF Stable, he wore down second place finisher Brady Bunch to win easily in 1:56.1. Chapter Fashion (Mike Simons) was third best. Gimpanzee is a 2-year-old colt by Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows. He used a career best time to go two for two in his career. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggert Jr.) is an upset winner in the third division of the NYSS. Leap Year Lucky (Dan Daley) led the trotters to a first quarter of :28.4 and to the half in :59.4. Winning Habit (Andy Miller) took the lead just before hitting three-quarters in 1:28.2. Chip Chip Conway ($22.40) was third heading to three-quarters. Owned by Ken Weckstein and trainer Gary Messenger, he charged late down the stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:58.0. Our White Night (Jim Morrill Jr.) came flying late to finish second. Winning Habit settled for third. Chip Chip Conway is a 2-year-old gelding by Conway Hall-Get Chipped. It was his second win in four lifetime starts. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a 13 race card on Saturday (July 20) starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Two Pocono "longshot specialists" were the harness racing winning team behind $58.80 upsetter Dunn Dealin in the sixth race - Jim Taggart Jr., whose third $50+ winner tied him for the meet lead with Anthony Napolitano, and trainer Judy Welty, the first conditioner to have a pair of bombers to her credit in 2018. That makes four $50+ winners in the last three cards at Pocono - after the win price totals of the entire card on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night was $60.40! WILKES-BARRE PA - The above was written after the tenth race feature on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Little did we know that the Jim Taggart Jr. Show was just beginning. Taggart, a 48-year-old who has won over 4500 races, added a note of the dramatic in the twelfth race, as his nearly 8-1 shot Angel's Pride could not be separated from Skinny Dipper (Eric Carlson) for the win at the end of a 1:52.1 mile. And then in the finale, Taggart, among the Top Ten drivers at both The Downs and Monticello, rallied the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Tempster Hanover from second-over, going by pacesetting favorite Allstar Partner, who earlier in the meet had been claimed for $39,000 to tie the highest claim price ever paid at Pocono. Tempster Hanover, himself a $20,000 claim in May, overpowered his field by 1¾ lengths in 1:52 for Taggart and trainer Joe Pavia Jr. - and, overlooked after a scratch and so-so recent form, bounced back and paid $203.40 to win! This was the second-highest price of the season, after a $250.80 return by Highland Dynamite (Simon Allard) in a PA All-Stars event, and it gave Taggart a meet-leading fourth victory with a $50+ longshot. And it's not like Tempster Hanover has never been an upsetter, and a late-night one to boot - he paid $57.40 on May 8 in the next-to-last race of the card, and now $203.40 in the night's getaway event to be the only $50+ repeat winner at the meet! From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Harness racing driver Jim Taggart Jr. is having a superb season at Monticello Raceway, and if Thursday night is any indication, he may be heading for some wintertime success at the Meadowlands as well. Taggart guided Master Of Puppets to an ideal second-over trip, and as the favorites weakened late, he tipped his 23-1 chance off cover when they straightened away at the head of the stretch before going on to a three-quarter length win in the Dash For The "G" Notes Final. May I Cruise West was second, with Acton Onelasttime third. In the early going, 9-5 second choice Esprit De Kayjay A, seeking his seventh straight score, was on the lead, but yielded to even-money public choice Walks Of Life. The leader was sailing along on the point as May I Cruise West started his grind at the five-eighths, towing Master Of Puppets with him. Walks Of Life was clear at three-quarters, but over a surface that has been unkind of late to horses racing on the lead, his crunch-time gas tank was on empty as Master Of Puppets scored with ease for trainer Dan Morrissey. The winner, a 7-year-old gelded son of Ashlee's Big Guy, paid $48.80 to win and paced the mile in a season's-best 1:52.3. He now has 34 lifetime wins in 183 starts. A LITTLE MORE: Jim Marohn Jr., fresh off winning his third straight Finn Tack Driver of the Week award, won twice on the card, giving him 11 winners over the last four racing programs. ... Brett Miller also scored a driving double. ... The Late 20 Cent Jackpot Super High 5 failed to result in a single-ticket winner, pushing the carryover to $47,447. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $1,520,576. ... Effective immediately, and until the end of February, post time at the Big M shifts to 6:35 p.m. ... Racing resumes Friday evening. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

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