Jockey Deshawn Parker picked up his second leading rider title at Sam Houston Race Park, dueling strongly with Iram Diego, but adding six wins over the last two days of the meet to draw clear. Parker missed the 2018 Sam Houston meet due to collarbone injury, but returned in top form this year, winning 48 races and posting a stellar 60% in the money statistic. He won two stakes this season, guiding the Direct Dial to victory in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas for Steve Asmussen and Cowgirls Like Us in the $65,000 Two Altazano for Bret Calhoun.
The well-respected veteran made his Sam Houston Race Park debut in 2014, finishing second in the standings, but he quickly caught the attention of horsemen and returned to Houston in 2015, winning the title with 55 wins.
"I am very fortunate to ride for great horsemen," said Parker. "I want to thank Karl Broberg, Bret Calhoun and Steve Asmussen for putting me on such good horses. My agent Bobby Kelly did a great job. I love Sam Houston; especially the amazing turf course and have been treated very well here each year!”
Parker, 48, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and is the all-time leading rider at Mountaineer Park and has won over 5,550 races since he began riding in 1988. He will return to Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana to ride in their upcoming meet.
Two-time leading rider Iram Diego finished second in the standings with 42 victories. Lane Luzzi, who was the fourth-leading rider here in 2018, had a solid meet, winning 25 races and Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez and made 23 trips to the winner’s circle.