New Kid Coming To Town

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 5, 2009 in General Discussion, News | No Comments >>

Deshawn Parker, the country’s second-winningest jockey in 2008, will ride at the upcoming Oaklawn meeting, media relations director Terry Wallace said.

Parker, who has never ridden in Hot Springs, won 333 races last year, second only to perennial leader Russell Baze.

Parker, 37, has been a fixture at Mountaineer Race Track in West Virginia, where he has won several titles and rode regularly for the late Dale Baird, the winningest trainer in racing history.

Parker rode Baird’s 9,000th career winner Nov. 5, 2004, at Mountaineer. He rode his 2,000th career winner Aug. 26, 2005, at Mountaineer.

Parker’s father, Darryl, is a steward at Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan. He became the first black steward in racing history in 1986 at Thistledown in suburban Cleveland.

Wallace said Deshawn Parker will be only the second prominent black jockey to ride regularly in Hot Springs during the modern era, following Marlon St. Julien, who rode 21 winners at the 2002 meeting.

According to Daily Racing Form statistics, Parker has 2,814 victories and $31,496,404 in purse earnings during his career.

Parker rode his first winner Dec. 2, 1988, at Thistledown. He has ridden 2,777 winners at Mountaineer since 1989.

At 5-10, Parker is the one of the country’s taller jockeys.

Another expected newcomer to the jockey colony is Tanner Riggs, who has ridden extensively on the Chicago circuit.

Deshawn Parker’s 2008 Stats:

MOUNTS 1,603 WINS 333 PLACES 218 SHOWS 212 PURSE EARNINGS $4,460,386.