The beat goes on for Diamond Tiara. On a warm, but windy, Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Diamond Tiara scored her 10th seasonal triumph and now leads all other Standardbreds in races won in North America this year.
Once again trainer Mike Watson availed himself of the services of Jimmy Taggart Jr. and Taggart responded by guiding Diamond Tiara to a 1:58.1 triumph which was the mare's sixth consecutive victory. In the seven times that Taggart has driven her, Diamond Tiara has six wins and a second-place finish.
However, according to Taggart, this victory Monday was a little tougher than the last five.
"This was the first time that she had drawn the outside (post seven) and I had to use her harder than usual to get to the front,” Taggart said. "She leaves like a runner and we had command on the first turn but that during that first eighth (of the mile) she was smokin. I was able to get into her a bit as we headed to the (first) quarter but we still were there in :28.3.”
After they paced by the first stanza Taggart had Diamond Tiara settled and she showed the way past the half in :59 but she had lots of company when three others moved out to take a shot at her. So on the clubhouse turn Taggart allowed his mare to step it up and they opened daylight as they passed the three quarters and they had two lengths on the field as they paced into the final turn.
With Temptation Queen and Bruce Aldrich Jr. keeping the pressure on, both mares dug in as they headed for paydirt and into a strong head-wind. However Diamond Tiara held on to score a length victory over Temptation Queen.
"She wasn't as strong finishing today as she had been in her last few starts but that first quarter took a little sting out of her, and the wind in the stretch was strong, too. Still, she's gritty,” Taggart added.
Owned by Philip Schultz, Diamond Tiara paid $4.20 for win.
With her 10th victory she currently has first place all to herself on the North American leaderboard with one more win than Rockin Rambaran, a Canadian pacer who's been winning consistently at Rideau Carleton.(Monticello Raceway)