Deshawn Parker

Venezia Award Nominees Announced

Junior Alvarado, Julien Leparoux, Deshawn Parker, Gerard Melancon and Scott Stevens are finalists for the 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday. Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career. All active jockeys in the continental U.S. are eligible to vote for...

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Parker Wins Woolf Award

Jockey DeShawn Parker, who in 2010 became the first African American rider since 1895 to lead all American jockeys in races won, has been selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide as the winner of the 2021 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award can only be won once. It recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character garner esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Parker, 50, outpolled four other Woolf finalists, Alex Birzer,...

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Santa Anita Announces Five Finalists for Woolf Award

Santa Anita has announced a group of five finalists for the 2021 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, with the winner to be announced in February. One of the most prestigious awards for American jockeys, the Woolf Award, which is determined by a vote of jockeys nationwide, can only be won once. Jockeys Alex Birzer, Jorge Martin Bourdieu, Kendrick Carmouche, Aaron Gryder and Deshawn Parker, veteran riders who have stood the test of time and have earned the respect of their peers and horsemen in various geographic regions, comprise 2021's select...

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Parker, Garcia, Southwest Racing Win Indiana Grand Titles

DeShawn Parker, winner of 5,821 races and more than $74 million in earnings, captured his first leading jockey title at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino when the track wrapped up its 2020 racing season Thursday. The journeyman visited the Indiana Grand winner's circle 106 times this year. Parker, who led the nation in wins in both 2010 and 2011, plans to spend the winter at Turfway Park. "This is the best thing of the meet and of my year," said Parker. "I had some chances the past couple of years...

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Jockeys Donate to Indiana Children's Event

As in year's past, the jockey colony at Indiana Grand will provide toys for the local "Breakfast with Santa" event Saturday, Dec. 12. This season, the jockeys will donate a total of 61 toys, a new record for the annual toy drive. "I have three kids myself and we are fortunate enough to provide toys for them," said Manny Esquivel. "I come from a very poor place in Mexico, and just thinking about it, it's hard to think about kids not getting toys for Christmas. I used to play with...

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Diversity in Racing: Deshawn Parker

He grew up on the racetrack, mainly at the old Latonia, spending many a morning and afternoon there with his father Daryl, who worked as a jockey agent, an exercise rider and a racing official. And everywhere he went, Deshawn Parker saw people just like him. Young, Black and eager to make a name for themselves in the sport. It was the '70s and the '80s and at whatever track you went to, the majority of backstretch workers were African Americans. Today, they make up a small fraction of a...

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