ZEKE PARKER WINS FIVE ON THURSDAY AT MONTICELLO
Winning races is nothing new to Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. He’s won plenty—11044 at last count—and what helped him add to his totals was the five winners he drove yesterday (Sept 19) at Monticello Raceway.
Parker didn’t start his assault until the third race when he scored with Danby Racing Stables, Charismatic ($7.70) in 1:58.2. He came right back in the next race and won with Tom Stamper’s 3 year year old trotter, R J’s Striker ($12.20) in 2:01.1.
Victory number three was with Diana Bartells’ trotter, Batu Khan, ($6.00) in 2:01.3. He then won with Ron Caouette’s Allamerican Master ($12.60) in 1:56.1 and capped the day with a 1:59.2 trotting victory with Richard Ruffles Hardrock Kid (($3.50).
“I f I didn’t get caught in behind a breaking horse at the top of the stretch in the first race yesterday I might’a (sic) had six winners,” Parker said.
All told yesterday, Zeke had three seconds to go along with his five driving victories but his 166 wins trails Bruce Aldrich, Jr. and Jimmy Marohn, Jr. on the local leaderboard.
Save for his five bagger a few weeks ago it was one of the bigger days this year for the bearded wonder who now is sixth all-time in races won in North America.
Recently when Parker was approaching Walter Case, Jr. in lifetime races won he expressed mixed feelings about moving ahead of Case and yesterday he expressed why he felt that way.
“I know we’re both Mainers and we’ve always been close friends but when he was a kid Casey used to work for me at Lewiston Raceway,” Parker explained. “He had a great desire to drive and couldn’t wait to start. He’s a great talent and I still feel bad that he’s not driving now. “
However, Parker who’ll be 60 years old on September 24th has nothing to be ashamed about. Since coming to the Mighty M in 1984 he has garnered 18 driving titles here to go along with the many he won in his native New England prior to his move to the Mighty M.
“I won the driving title at Foxboro (Raceway) in 1983 and saw how good Casey (Walter Case Jr.) did at Monticello that year so I decided that I’d make a move,” he explained. “ I had my own stable and I was driving for Colen Mosher and both he and I picked up stakes and moved to Monticello.
“I got off to a good start and being a country boy I liked the surroundings so I made up my mind to stay here. And I’m glad I did.”
Parker is still every bit as lethal in the sulky as he was in seasons past and time has yet to catch up with him.
“As I get older I’m not as concerned about statistics as I was when I was younger,” he said. “After all I’ve been through in my life I’m just happy to still be driving horses