ZEKE PARKER WINS MONTICELLO’S MAYFLOWER MILE
To no one’s surprise Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. emerged victorious in Monticello Raceway’s Mayflower Mile on Monday afternoon, September 24th when he guided Doc’s Whiskey to a 1:57.2 triumph over seven other drivers, all of whom have varying amounts of English blood in their veins. The event, for drivers of English heritage, was the seventh in the track’s year-long Heritage Drivers Series.
By chance Parker drew the favorite in the race; or was the horse a favorite because Parker was going to drive him. Either way, Doc’s Whisky was sent off as the 4-10 favorite and as Zeke had done over 10,789 times before he hustled the pacer to victory, three lengths ahead of Lightning Madison driven by Kyle DiBenedetto (his mother was from England). Amateur driver Gerry Fielding got 60-1 shot Shezaflamingtower home for the show dough. Other drivers who competed (in the order of where they finished) were Chuck Poynton, Greg Merton, Bruce Aldrich, Jr., Rick Harp and Cory Stratton.
Eight pacers lined up behind the mobile starting gate and when the starting judge said “go” Parker hustled Doc’s Whiskey toward the front end even passing up a possible seat in the three hole on the first turn.
Knowing he wanted the lead Parker and Doc’s Whiskey took command before the quarter mile timer flashed :28.2. From there it was catch me if you can, and nobody could as Zeke and Doc’s Whiskey rambled open lengths in front of the field all the way to the wire where they finished a three-length winner in season’s mark for Doc’s Whiskey.
In the winners circle Parker was asked why he passed up the three-hole which might have been a foolish question for a man of his driving abilities. But Parker, who was unusually jovial perhaps because September 24th was his 59th birthday, and uncharacteristically quickly replied:
“When you got the favorite in a race you don’t duck in on the first turn. Most of the time the front-end is where the odds-on favorite should be. Now let me ask you, If you bet on me here would you have been happy if I took a tuck when I was the best in the race?
With Parker’s response the scribe who asked the question found it was tough to second-guess the driving strategy of the seventh winningest driver of all time (in North America).
Doc’s Whiskey is owned by Frank C. Macedonio of Monticello, NY and Stephen Macedonio of West Babylon, NY and tracked by the former. The pacer paid $2.90 for win.
Now the raceway has just one event remaining in its Heritage Drivers Series; the Maple Leaf Pace for drivers of Canadian heritage, which will be presented in m id-October. When that race is completed the winners of each of the eight Heritage Drivers Series preliminary legs will battle in the event’s finale; the All America Cup in mid-November.