The harness racing "battle" continues. Zeke Parker won four races yesterday (September 19) but he didn't extend his lead in races won over Bruce Aldrich, Jr. who had a four-bagger himself. The current count is Parker 277; Aldrich 271.
To the onlooker the battle for driving supremacy may seem a bit trivial to the average fan but it’s taken quite seriously by Parker but more so by Aldrich.
“Being the leading driver is quite an accomplishment and one I don’t take lightly,” Aldrich said. “And going head to head with Zeke presents an big obstacle because he’s one helluva of driver, and always has been.”
Parker, on the other hand is much more reserved. He’s not a demonstrative individual and one who usually keeps his feelings and thoughts to himself. But with Aldrich playing the challenger Parker can’t help but get involved.
“I’ve won plenty of (driving) titles but as long as you are driving you can’t win enough of them,” he offered. “I guess it’s just a matter of pride to be the leader.”
Parker drew first blood winning the third race with Ruth Ingram’s Bay Street in 1:58.3 but Aldrich countered and won the next three consecutive races. He scored in the fourth with Mc Coo Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing’s trotter Dua Don A in 2:00 and came right back to win the fifth with Woody Hoblitzell and Linda Bushu’s Moonlit Tori in 2:00. Aldrich won the sixth behind Rebackoff, Raiano and Sorentino’s trotter Our Special Girl in a time of 2:01.4.
Then Zeke won the seventh with Jay and Melissa Appleblatt’s Sweet Temptation in 1:57.4 but Aldrich countered again and notched his fourth win when he guided his own Blue Creek Angie home first in a 1:59.1` clocking which was the mare’s 11th victory this season.
Maybe Aldrich felt somewhat confident that he’d gain ground on Parker that day but the inimitable Zeke would have none of that. He won the 10th race with Keebler, Wagner and Woogen’s trotter, Sin To Win in 2:00.4 and then won the nightcap behind Heidi Rohr’s Warden Woody in 1:57.1.
The “battle “will undoubtedly go right on down to season’s end (December 29) but both reinsmen might have to keep looking over their shoulders as Jimmy Taggart, Jr., who won two races himself on Monday, creeps up on the leaders and now has 205 driving victories here this season.