PARKER WINS 5; CLOSING IN ON 11,000 WINS; HAROUN HANOVER WINS FOR THE 15TH TIME
After driving along at a pedestrian pace-- at least for him --- Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. broke out and reined five winners on the Tuesday, June 18th card at Monticello Raceway, where, over the years, the bearded wonder has copped 18 driving titles.
Now Parker has 102 wins at the current meet which is good for third place on the local leaderboard, but more importantly Zeke is moving ever closer to the 11,000 career win plateau and now needs just 20 more winning drives to reach that incredible milestone.
“I had a good day,” Parker said. “I put them (his horses) in the right spot and they got there.”
Of Zeke’s five winners the most impressive to him was Abominable Snowpan,a 6 year old No Pan Intended gelding trained by Amber Buter for owner Tyler Buter. Parker won with him in 1:53.3 which is currently the fastest winning time here thus far this season.
“It was the first time I drove him and he gave me one of my fastest rides, “Parker admitted. “He’s a nice ‘hoss.’”
Zeke’s first winner came behind Jay & Melissa Appelblatt’s Whatamach ($3.40) in a time of 1:57.1 and followed that with a 1:56.4 triumph with Lowell Schoonmaker’s , Lolas Cruiser ($3.30).
Win number three came with Latz A Luck Stables’ Kandi Chip ($2.60) in 1:58.4 followed by the triumph with Abominable Snowpan ($15.20).
Parker’s fifth and final win was behind George Lombardi’s veteran pacer Behind Enemy Lines ($6.90)in a 1:58 clocking.
“I’ve been going along winning four or five races a week but I wasn’t getting much power. You know, picking up the ‘scraps’, so to speak, not the live mounts. But today I got some that were in right and they delivered,” Parker said.
He was asked if he feels any pressure while closing in on11,000 career wins.
“Not really, at least not now,” he said. “Maybe when I get closer I might feel some pressure but I really don’t think I will. I’ve been at this for a long time.”
Currently Parker’s 10,980 driving victories ranks him seventh all-time in races won in North America.
Also of note on the Tuesday card was Haroun Hanover winning for the 15th time this year. That victory came in the final race on the card, once again with Jimmy Marohn, Jr. at the controls.
Trained by Danny Gill for owners Ed and James Hall of Connecticut the 7 year old altered son of Bettor’s Delight scored in 1:57.2.
“He was on exceptional behavior today and I was able to keep him in a hole behind sane fractions,” Marohn admitted. “When I moved him late in the mile he zipped right to the front and was an easy (four length) winner.
“He even pulled up after the mile,” Marohn added smiling. “But still there was no return trip to the winners circle.”
Now with 15 wins Haroun Hanover is second in races won this year in North America behind Tracys Song’s 18.