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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.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit knowing little about Parker before his recent years at Monticello. Even forgiving Walter Case's off track problems, he had plenty of on track issues to explain why he's not in the Hall. Anything in Parker's past? If not, he deserves the recognition. The same could be said about Anthony Morgan. David Miller probably gets voted in when he's had a few more years in the sport.

Anonymous said...

what about Tony Morgan who did drive on a major (Chicago) circuit with 14000+ wins? There is someone who deserves a shot at LHOF.

Pacingguy said...

On straight wins, I would agree Tony Morgan deserves to be in. However, I don't know how many driving titles he won. But not to take anything away from Morgan's accomplishments, Chicago is a year round circuit whereas Parker's days at Scarborough and Foxboro were seasonal meets; for him to get these many wins racing at seasonal tracks makes his accomplishments even more impressive.

As to the question of scandals with Zeke, I am not aware of any racing-related scandals and I checked with a few people. However, his personal story is one of inspiration. Allow me to quote from a post I made on March 10th of last year "Billy Parker Jr. Returns: Well, in a much more positive story, Billy Parker Jr. is in the process of launching his comeback to racing at Monticello Raceway on March 19 following cancer surgery. Here is a man, who has gone through many personal trials and tribulations in his life and he keeps bouncing back. How Billy Parker Jr. is not in the Hall of Fame escapes me. Yes, he may be a journeyman but he is the seventh in the all-time winning driver list and that should account for me. The fact he has overcome so much adversity in life makes it even more impressive. Hopefully, the Hall of Fame will see his worthiness before too long".

Anonymous said...

It is especially good to see the drivers whip their horses between their hind legs on their private parts in that excellent video from Maywood.

Anonymous said...

Zeke has raced in Monticello for about 30 years, pretty much year round. I don't think his victories at those "seasonal meets" in Foxborough and Maine make up the bulk of his wins!

Pacingguy said...

While I may certainly be wrong, I don't recall him being at MR that long. That being said, even if he was a regular for 30 yrs at MR, he still deserves admittance. (IMO)

Anonymous said...

Parker has been at Monticello full time since around 1983, 1984 at the latest. Not that it takes anything away from his accomplishments, but most of his victories are indeed in Sullivan County.

Neil Glasser said...

Insane that Morgan and Parker are not in the HOF. Over 26,000 wins combined. Argument from the "HOF Committee" is that they didn't win stakes races. It's a completely ignorant view from a bunch of guys that have never been out there. You don't win that many races without a serious amount of talent and dedication to the sport.