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TAGGART PILOTS ‘PUPPET’ PERFECTLY AT BIG M

Thursday, December 21, 2017

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.

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