Thursday, April 11, 2013
What's Keeping Zeke Out of Goshen?
Billy Parker Jr., is now working towards his 11,000th career victory up at Monticello Raceway. With his current total of 10,931 victories, Parker is now number seven in the all-time dash winning category yet there is no talk about him getting into the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame.
I've said it before and I will say it again, you really have to wonder why he hasn't been given proper consideration by the harness writers. Besides being seventh all-time, Parker has won eighteen driving titles at tracks like Scarborough Downs, Foxboro Raceway, his current home track Monticello Raceway, and even Yonkers Raceway. True, he has not driven on the Grand Circuit, but you don't win almost 11,000 races without having talent.
Here is the current top ten all-time dash winning drivers:
Dave Palone -----15,714
Herve Filion -----15,183
Cat Manzi -----14,695
Tony Morgan* ---14,416
Dave Magee ----11,592
Walter Case, Jr* - 11.038
Billy Parker, Jr.* --10,931
Dave Miller* ---10,610
John Campbell -- 10.556
Mike Lachance -- 10,309
* Non-Living Hall of Fame Member
Some will claim Parker didn't drive on a major circuit, admittedly most of his Yonkers years were during the dark days with any regularity. This should not disqualify Parker from membership to the Hall of Fame for we should remember at any track, there is a young upstart who comes upon the scene and gets the live drives while the veteran starts getting second and third call on driving assignment. Parker has managed to remain a force in spite of this and reaching number five in the all-time standings is not out of the question.
Even baseball will elect players to the Hall of Fame even if they never played for a championship team; the individual record is what counts. There has to be a time where Parker's individual record can't be ignored.
It is time for Billy Parker Jr. to get his due in Goshen. Hopefully the USHWA membership will recognize his accomplishments sooner rather than later.
Thanks to G.g. Meyer for finding this video and to Mickey B Photography for taking this video of a field of horses at Maywood Park from the starting car as it provides us with a view of a race many don't have the opportunity to see.