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Diamond Dagger Delivers

Published: January 10, 2017 10:42 am ET

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Diamond Dagger, driven by Jason Dillander for trainer Mark O’Mara, scored a decisive win in Pompano Park’s $12,000 Open Trot on Monday night (January 9).

The five-year-old daughter of ABC Garland hit the wire in a lifetime best 1:54.4 — her only other 1:54.4 winning mile over the larger Hoosier Park oval — to win by three-quarters of a length over Massive Lightning, with Mickey McNichol in the bike. Swan Handicap, handled by Ricky Macomber Jr., finished third, more than seven lengths back, while Cashahallic finished a half-length further back in fourth. Railee Workable finished fifth.

Diamond Dagger ditched her normal strategy of coming from off the pace, as Dillander sent her out with alacrity from Post 6 in search of the lead.

After Shes All In, teamed with Rick Plano, marched by the opener in :28.2, Diamond Dagger took command a few strides before the line the first time and took the field past the half in :56.3.

On the backside, McNichol sent Massive Lightning from fourth and sprinted up to within a length of the winner past the third station in 1:26.

In the lane, Diamond Dagger was never in danger, as she used a sharp :28.4 finale to seal the deal.

After the race, driver Jason Dillander said, “You know, I usually don’t get very emotional about things but, let me tell you, I had goose bumps crossing the wire tonight.”

Dillander’s emotions were caused by the recent passing of Frank O’Mara, as Diamond Dagger is trained by Frank’s son, Mark, who co-owns the mare with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker.

Jason continued, “I’ve had the pleasure of driving this mare before and she really prefers being off the pace but, tonight, I thought I’d try and get her into the ballgame a bit earlier. It was like she knew tonight was special—and it certainly was.

“This win is dedicated to Frank O’Mara, one of the great horsemen of this era or any era.”

For Diamond Dagger, it was her 14th career win in 76 lifetime starts, which pushed her career bounty over the $150,000 mark -- $153,612 to be precise.

As the 5-2 second choice, Diamond Dagger paid $7.60 to win.

Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover awaiting along with a Pick-4 guaranteed pool of $10,000.

First-race post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

(Pompano Park)

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