That day came a little quicker than he anticipated.
Just two months after he and three partners purchased 4-year-old pacing mare JK Letitgo, the daughter of Western Ideal-JK Getoutofmyway has worked her way up from the conditioned ranks to the Fillies and Mares Open at Dover Downs, winning every race along the way.
“We all love her,” Parker said.
|JK Letitgo defeated the top mares on the grounds on March 10 at Dover Downs.|
The Bridgeville, Del., based trainer owns JK Letitgo with Nanticoke Racing and local farmers Barry Spedden and Kevin Evans.
Parker said she caught his eye at the New Jersey sale because she’d raced against some of the country’s top fillies as a 3-year-old.
“We liked the fact that she raced against I Luv the Nitelife,” he said. “She wasn’t the best but she was keeping up with them.”
That, and the fact that she only had three lifetime wins meant she’d fit well into the easier conditioned classes for fillies and mares at Dover Downs. Parker and his partners purchased her for $65,000.
“It looked like a good deal all the way around,” Parker said.
He was a little less confident in his purchase when he got her back to the farm, as she continually jumped from the trot to the pace as he jogged her. With a little coaxing, however, he convinced her to pick up the pace and jog at a steady clip.
“That’s when I liked her,” he said.
The bay mare wasted no time getting adjusted to her new surroundings. JK Letitgo won her first race in the First State handily, besting the filly and mare non-winners of four competition by more than seven lengths in 1:53.4 on a sloppy track.
The day after the race, JK Letitgo was running and jumping in the field, feeling as good as ever.
“She works hard and the next day acts like she didn’t do anything,” Parker said.
The favorite the following week, the mare left from post six, making the front after the quarter, and never looked back, crossing the wire first in 1:54 for driver Corey Callahan.
A jump in class to a race for fillies and mares that were non-winners of $45,000 lifetime didn’t phase JK Letitgo, who won easily on both Feb. 17 and Feb. 24.
For the first time in two months, the mare appeared to be in a bit over her head when she was forced to move up to Dover’s Fillies and Mares Winners-Over/Open Handicap. She started from post three for driver Jonathan Roberts, as regular reinsman Callahan had picked off.
JK Letitgo sat fourth through a :27 first quarter before she was pulled by Roberts for a first-over move. She gradually stalked leader Cooking The Books through fractions of :57.1 and 1:24.2 before moving by her in the stretch to win by a half-length in 1:52.2.
Parker, who’d become accustomed to the mare making early moves for the lead, was pleased to see her come from behind.
“It was nice to see her do it on the other end of the mile,” he said.
Parker said JK Letitgo would be racing at the Meadowlands this spring, where he hopes her success will continue.
“It’s working out so far,” he said. “Even if she doesn't set the world on fire she’s doing what she’s supposed to.”