‘I was riding for my dad’: DeShawn Parker records 6,000th career win – Reuters Sports News


DeShawn Parker after career win No. 6000 aboard For Mama

Tuesday, June 21 will be a date that will forever be etched in Jockey DeShawn Parker’s memory. He rode home aboard For Mama to claim his 6,000th career victory, a feat only 20 other jockeys have accomplished in Thoroughbred racing history.

Parker started his night two wins away from the milestone and connected with Wicket Intent in the third run of the night for trainer Caio Caramori. Parker had another hit on the card at Horseshoe Indianapolis. There he boarded the For Mama, trained by Jeff Greenhill, looking to turn the corner.

As Mama got away in the heavy traffic in the six furlong sprint and the race hall never went wild and was surrounded, so Parker kept the 3-year-old gelding behind leaders Circle Indy and Alex Achard, Got Lost and Sammy Bermudez, and Runaway Image and Declan Canon. Around the turn, the peloton remained tight and it looked like For Mama would have to wait another day to break her maiden. But Parker did what he’s done so many times before, he waited patiently until the right time came.

That moment has come a quarter of the way for Parker and For Mama. A slight opening appeared between Got Lost on the inside and Circle Indy on the outside. It took a bit of pressure at first, but Parker encouraged For Mama to split their rivals to find the race hall they needed. Once he was done, there was only Got Lost left that he had to outrun. The two matched each other step by step until the end of the streak when For Mama got the slim margin on the wire for the win, just a header ahead of Got Lost. Golden Rapper and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. closed in to finish third.

Car Mama was the favorite of the inaugural field, paying $2.60 for the win. The Can the Man Indiana gelding is owned by James Wyenandt’s Bosharon stable, which has also partnered with In Good Company Farm as a breeder.

Parker was joined by Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing, as well as Rachel McLaughlin, head of racing broadcast, for the presentation. Several jockeys came out to help Parker celebrate such a milestone.

DeShawn Parker, with track officials Eric Halstrom and Rachel McLaughlin

“It means the world to me, and I was riding for my dad, because I couldn’t have been here without him,” said Parker, who lost his father, Daryl, a longtime steward in the state of Ohio in the spring of 2021 to cancer. “He knew I was getting close to this milestone, but he never said much about any of the milestones. He was the one who kept me calm, and if anything got on my nerves, I would call him and I would tell him what was going on and he would calm me down. I miss not being able to do that.

Parker earned his 5,000th career victory at Mountaineer Park in 2016. He moved to Indiana full-time in 2017 and won the title of top driver at the track three years later in 2020. In five and a half years of l Riding at Horseshoe Indianapolis, he is already in the top 10 at the track with 492 career wins and just under $13 million in Indiana earnings.

“I’m happy to have taken this step,” added Parker. “I wanted to do it, and I tried to do it, but it seemed like I just didn’t have the right horse at the right time. Everyone kept cheering me on to get it, which was good, but I have to say, it’s even better than I expected to hit that milestone. It’s a load, and I couldn’t be happier.

Parker’s landmark victory will be forever remembered aboard For Mama for Father Daryl.

The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing runs through Wednesday, November 23. Live racing takes place at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with Thursday posting times set at 2:10 p.m. A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 marked by the 28e the $300,000 Indiana Derby 3rd Year Race and the 27th Annual $200,000 Indiana Oaks 3rd Year Race will take place on Saturday, July 9. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.

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Clyde P. Johnson