Day At The Track
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Goshen, NY -- Brandon Parker and Stephen & Carole Crevani of Crevani Farms will be honored by Monticello-Goshen USHWA when the chapter hosts its 59th annual harness racing awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. Brandon Parker, son of Monticello Raceway's all-time leading driver, Billy "Zeke" Parker, Jr. will receive the Rising Star Award and Crevani Farms will receive the inaugural Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award. Brandon Parker, has been around horses his entire life. Soon to turn 19, he was born and raised in Monticello. In this, his first year of driving, the soft spoken young man has done all his talking out on the race track. As of Dec. 2, "Lil Zeke" has had an unparalleled 448 starts in his first year of driving, posting 42 wins, 56 seconds and 57 thirds and a UDRS of .206. That may be a record for a rookie! In fact, he ripped through his "Q" drives in a few weeks and just got his "P" license in May. Basically, amassing all those starts in just over half a year! But for a kid who was hanging around the barn at age 6, with a world-class driver for a father, harness racing came relatively naturally. He watches race tapes of all his favorite drivers and tried to learn their style. With an attention to detail he pours over replays like Mike Tyson reviews fight footage. Parker likes to study the film and pick out their nuances. He is also admired by his peers for his poise at such a young age. Of course the Monticello Raceway drivers colony has always been known to produce more than its share of successful reinsmen. *** For decades, Stephen Crevani balanced a demanding career as a high-rise builder with his interest in breeding and racing harness horses. Now that he is retired, the 75-year-old has been able to focus all of his attention on the horse business and is reaping greater rewards as a result. He bred, owned and trained Bullville Powerful p,3,1:49 ($870,812), a son of Bettor's Delight who won the Empire Breeders Classic and the NYSS final at 3. He was the sparkle of Crevani's eye, despite having the misfortune of being born the same year as Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official. "I'm retired and spending more time with the horses, and I'm having more success," said Crevani, whose business holdings also included a bank. "This is my life blood now. I was a workaholic when I was a builder. Now my wife says I'll never get ulcers, I'll just give them." Crevani always has a small but sincere group of horses in training and handful of broodmares at the family farm in Bullville, New York. All of his horses bear the "Bullville" moniker. Crevani began breeding and racing horses in 1975 and his name has been a consistent presence in the Meadowlands program since the track opened the following year. He purchased the original Excelsior Farm in Bullville and at one time had well over 150 horses on the ground. Over the years, well over 400 horses have been bred by Crevani. Crevani's wife, Carole, and many of their five children and 15 grandchildren think he may be somewhat eccentric the way he drives all his own babies at Goshen each summer. But that is what he lives for...the excitement and the passion for the sport. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Herbie Burns (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Monticello, NY - With the speed of light and a hardy STEVE SAID, eighteen year old Brandon Parker enjoys his first pari-mutuel harness racing win reining the six year old son of Well Said in 1:56.2.   Steve Said is trained by William Parker Jr. and owned by Evan A. Katz, Brandon is the son of expert horseman, William Parker, Jr. or more popularly known as Zeke, who has amassed well over 11,000 wins and several driving titles in his stunning career.   In the winner's circle, Zeke sported a proud smile as he and Brandon were joined by friends and fans.   Geri Schwarz

The third on the final Sunday matinee harness racing card at Goshen Historic Track on June 21 was well attended and offered seven races; six for pacers and trotters hooked to sulkies and a trotting race under saddle. Arguably, the most interesting one was the sixth race when 16 year old Brandon Parker made his first drive a winning one. The son of Billy "Zeke" Parker Jr, drove his dad's Wizard of Art to an easy two length victory over Pine Bush Princess and driver by Jordan Stratton. The race time was 2:10 but a short four-horse field and early fractions of :33.3 and 1:07.2 dictated the relatively slow final time. Brandon drove a good race, fell into the 2 hole on the first turn and after anticipating the slow early pace set by the leader Peter Lutman III with MBC Alison he moved Wizard of Art to the front even before the first quarter was reached. From there Wizard of Art raced unchallenged and won easily by two lengths. There was large group of family and friends along to watch young Brandon drive his first race and he didn't disappoint. He was calm and collective when he and his pacer entered the winners circle but the same couldn't be said for his dad. And like his dad who was always short on words and let his driving do his talking, young Brandon simply said: "I'm happy and I feel real good," . Although Brandon was raised around harness horses and worked with them every chance he got it still was understandable that Zeke was nervous before the race. "I don't think I was ever this nervous before I drove in a race but to see your son out there for the first time it's different and would make any dad a bit uneasy," Parker acknowledged. But all that dissipated as Parker walked across the track for the winners circle presentation. However, his nervousness was replaced by teary eyes which he wiped consistently as he walked along with younger son, Brodie, to take a photo with Brandon and Wizard of Art. On that jaunt, fighting back the tears, the elder Parker murmured half choked up: "I wish TJ ( his deceased wife and Brandon's mother) was here to see it. He then added:"This was such a great Father's Day present." The next action at Historic Track will be on July 2 when Grand Circuit meet gets underway By John Manzi for Historic Track  

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