‘Can’t Put Into Words What This Means’: DeShawn Parker Wins First Indiana Grand Riding Title

DeShawn Parker has accomplished a lot in his 32-year career as a jockey. He doesn’t experience many firsts in this phase of his career, but he did Thursday, Nov. 19, to close out the 2020 racing season at Indiana Grand. Parker earned his first leading jockey title at the Shelbyville, Ind., track with 106 wins for the season.

When asked what the highlight of the season was for him, he replied, “This right here (winning the leading jockey title). This is the best thing of the meet and of my year. I had some chances the past couple of years to win (the title), but I got hurt and it just didn’t work out. My agent, Jimmy (McNerney), always does a good job but he did an exceptional job this year for me, and I was able to stay healthy. I can’t put into words what this means. This means so much to me.”

Parker is a member of an elite group of jockeys who have scored more than 5,000 wins during their career. With 5,821 wins and in excess of $74 million in purse earnings, the multiple graded stakes placed jockey continues to stay at the top of his game year end and year out. He led the nation in wins twice in 2010 and 2011 and adds the leading jockey title at Indiana Grand to multiple titles from Mountaineer Park and Sam Houston.

“A special thank you to all the owners and trainers for letting me ride their horses this year,” added Parker. “I got lucky to ride a lot of horses for local trainers. It’s been a great year, and I appreciate their support.”

Parker completed the shortened 96-day meet with 106 wins, six ahead of second place finisher Fernando De La Cruz with 100 wins. Both Parker and De La Cruz are only one of eight jockeys who have ever eclipsed the 100-win mark at Indiana Grand, especially impressive with the shortened racing season due to Covid-19 shutdowns earlier this year.

With 106 wins for 2020 at Indiana Grand, Parker moves into eighth place on the list of all-time leading jockeys at Indiana Grand with 391 wins. He has won at least 100 wins each year since 1997. Parker plans to accompany McNerney to Turfway Park this winter.

The post ‘Can’t Put Into Words What This Means’: DeShawn Parker Wins First Indiana Grand Riding Title appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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