Mark Twain once espoused that the difference from success and failure in life is 40 miles. Of course in his day 40 miles was a long way from home. Maybe that applies and maybe it’s more hyperbole than truth but in deference to Mr. Twain it seems one has a greater chance of success in a town other than his native one.


But one can take Twain’s words with a grain of salt  in the case of Monticello-native Jimmy Taggart, Jr.


On the sweltering afternoon program of Wednesday, July 17  Monticello, NY-native Jimmy Taggart, Jr. had a hat trick at Monticello Raceway and those three victories followed the one he scored the previous day and the four he reined on Monday, July 15. Now the 43 year old reinsman finds himself just six victories shy of 3000.And when he scores his 3000th win he’ll join an elite group drivers who have reached that milestone


Two of Taggart’s wins on Wednesday came behind trotters from the Gary Messenger barn. He won the feature with Mandinga ($6.90) in 1:59.1 and the co-feature with Four Starz F ($14.80) in 1:58.4. A third victory came behind Ron Coauette’s pacer  Allamerican Master ($3.50) in1:58.1.


Asked if feels any pressure closing in on his personal milestone Taggart answered quickly: “ Not yet. Maybe when I get one or two wins away I might but right but now I’m enjoying the ride.”


  A lifelong resident of the area and a graduate of Monticello High School Taggart’s gravitation to harness racing only seemed natural as the sport was still premier in the area in the mid-1980’s.


Taggart began his driving career in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club here at the Mighty M in the late 1980’s and he turned professional during the 1988 season Taggart. Although wins came sparingly in the early years after a few seasons in the sulky he showed a talent for driving harness horses and in 1994 his win total was inthree figures and has remained there  in all but a few years in the late 2000’s.


Often among the driving leaders here in the 1990’s Taggart scored his 1000th win at the Mighty M. Win number 2000 came at Pocono Downs where he was a regular during the early years of the 21st Century before returning home to the Mighty M.


Last year his 229 winners here ranked him fifth best on the local leaderboard and his 285 wins during the 2011 season was third best. This season Taggart’s 109 wins at Monticello Raceway  currently ranks him fifth in races won.