Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Contributed Photo | Geri Schwarz

Monticello Raceway Director of Publicity John Manzi, right, presented The Little Grey Jug trophy to a very muddy Billy “Zeke” Parker Jr. on Monday afternoon at the raceway.

Jaguar Jet and
Billy ‘Zeke’ Parker Jr.
win The Little Grey Jug

By John Manzi
MONTICELLO — October 1, 2010 — On the misty Monday afternoon of Sept. 27, with the rain trickling down and the racetrack covered with mud, Billy “Zeke” Parker Jr. reined odds-on favorite Jaguar Jet to a 2:01.1 victory to capture the 20th edition of Monticello Raceway’s Little Grey Jug.
And since Parker won the inaugural in 1990, maybe it was only fitting that he prevailed in this year’s race.
Seven grey or roan-colored pacers lined up behind the mobile starting gate and when the word “go” was given by the starting judge, Big Rueben and Rick Harp grabbed the racetrack and wouldn’t relinquish the lead despite, or maybe because, two of the top pacers in the contest were parked out. Big Rueben passed the first stanza in 29.1 seconds with Brickyard Wayne (driven by Ray Baynes) and Jaguar Jet and Parker chasing the leader to gain command.
But that never happened for either of the challengers. Harp kept the two greys – who, by the way, were deemed the best by the betting public – on the limb and he kept Big Rueben’s pedal to the metal. As the field passed the half in 59.3 seconds, there were four- in and three-out and the order on the front end remained the same.
Knowing he had the best horse in the invited field, Parker moved three-wide after the half and finally circled Brickyard Wayne as the field approached the three- quarters pole. But Jaguar Jet still never saw the pylons as he and Big Rueben raced as a team around the final turn.
However, in the lane Jaguar Jet’s class prevailed and he and Parker wore down Harp and Big Rueben to score the victory. Big Rueben fought gamely, but second best was all that he could muster.
Brickyard Wayne, who also went the mile on the limb, finished third.
When Parker returned to the winner’s circle, he was literally covered with mud. Even his full beard was brown from the muddy racing surface.
“It wasn’t one of my best drives,” Parker openly admitted. “But hey, it was tough going out there today.”
Nick Surick, who conditions Jaguar Jet for owners Melvin Fink, Cliff Grundy and Anna Glide was extremely thrilled with the outcome, as was Glide when they held the blanket which displayed the name of the race and the track at which it was presented and posed for the winner’s circle photographs.
When asked how he was doing, Surick was quick to quip, “I’m a lot better now.”

top of page  |  home  |  archives