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Diamond Tiara wins for the 16th time in 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

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Monticello, NY --- 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 Monday (June 30) but for the third straight week she was claimed.

Last Monday (June 23) Diamond Tiara was reclaimed by Mike Watson’s barn via a $9,000 claim from trainer Al Annunziata after the pacing mare won in 1:55.3, which was her 15th seasonal triumph. This Monday Annunziata reclaimed her for the same price after Diamond Tiara won again. 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.

Geri Schwarz photo
Diamond Tiara won for the 16th time this year on Monday.

On Monday 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 of her competition, even in the deep stretch when Mayabelle and Zeke Parker pulled the two hole and were rebuffed and had to settle for second money, a full length behind the winner.

Knowing that Diamond Tiara was again claimed, Taggart was asked about it.

“She’s certainly a tough one to lose. 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 have to find a class for her.”

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