Monticello, NY --- At the beginning of last season Monticello Raceway had two pacers that were on a tear winning races. Both Tracy’s Song and Haroun Hanover were consistent winners and were at, or near, the top of the North American leaderboard in races won all season long. And both finished the season with more than 20 wins.
Although the same may not materialize this year for two pacers, Rusty’s Flying and Diamond Tiara, each are making themselves known by consistent trips to the winner's circle. Both pacers have won seven times this year, just one win off the leaders.
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Rusty's Flying and Jimmy Marohn, Jr. were easy winners in 2:00.2.|
On Monday (March 31), Rusty’s Flying notched her third consecutive victory and seventh of the season when Jimmy Marohn, Jr. guided the 6-year-old daughter of Artiscape to a wire-to-wire triumph in a 2:00.2 clocking for trainer Danny Gill and owner Ed Hall.
Last year Gill was the conditioner of Haroun Hanover, known locally as the horse that didn’t stop after a race and one who needed the wings of the starting gate opened on the backstretch after the mile so driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. (Gill’s driver of choice) could aim him behind the wings and get the pacer stopped and into the race paddock.
Thankfully for the driver and trainer, Gill’s charge this year, Rusty’s Flying, does not resemble Haroun Hanover, other than she wins the majority of her races. This year she has seven wins and two seconds in 10 starts and last year she had 12 wins, 10 seconds and five thirds in 42 starts.
Joining Rusty’s Flying in races won this year in North America is Diamond Tiara, who’ll be looking for her eighth seasonal triumph here on Tuesday (April 1). Owned by Philip Schultz and trained by Mike Watson, the 7-year-old daughter of McArdle has strung together three consecutive wins and is understandably rated as the early line favorite in her contest. Jimmy Taggart, Jr. will again be at the controls behind Diamond Tiara when they leave from the four hole in the first race.
A mare of considerable class, Diamond Tiara has a lifetime mark of 1:50.3 taken two years ago and last season she won in 1:53.3. Both of her win records were notched at Harrah’s Philadelphia. This season from 12 trips to post, all at the Mighty M, Diamond Tiara has seven wins, two seconds and three thirds.