12/23/2010 2:31PM

Parboo surprise name at top of Calder standings


MIAMI – It took nearly three years for Bisnath Parboo to accumulate 20 victories after first taking out his trainer’s license in New York at the end of the 2007 season. It’s taken Parboo only two more months to more than double that total, and his 21 wins during the first 44 days of the Tropical at Calder session puts him atop the standings heading into the Christmas break.

Parboo’s sudden emergence as the favorite to win the Tropical title has certainly taken local horseplayers by surprise and comes in his first year as a regular on the south Florida circuit. It has been made possible by the efforts of his son Shivananda who said he oversees the daily operations at the barn for his father.

The Parboos hail from Trinidad. Bisnath Parboo first came to the U.S. as an owner in 1982, racing his horses in New York where, he said, his two principal trainers were Joe Parker and Barclay Tagg. He finally took out his own license during the fall of 2007 and needed more than 90 starters before winning his first race at Aqueduct, one year later.

Parboo won seven races in New York and New Jersey before moving his operation to Florida at the beginning of the current campaign. He won a race apiece last winter at Tampa and Gulfstream Park before beginning to build momentum during the 2010 Calder session, when he accounted for 11 victories with 56 starters. But nothing in those past performances could have led anyone to predict that with just over a week left in the meet, Parboo would be the heavy favorite to win the Tropical title.

“We moved down here from New York last year because my father couldn’t take the cold any more,” Shivananda Parboo explained.

“We never had more than 14 horses in the barn when racing up north, but we currently have 22 horses now and they are all ours. It’s strictly a family business. And it would be a dream come true if we can pull it off and win the trainer’s title.”

That goal has been obvious from the way the Parboos have been aggressively placing their horses of late. On Wednesday, they dropped She’s Trippin North from the $16,000 claiming level to $6,250 and were rewarded with a victory. The following afternoon, Gato Paso was offered up for $5,000 after having run creditably against starter allowance competition in his last four starts, and he became Parboo’s 20th winner of the meet when he cruised home as the 3-5 choice.

Not surprisingly, both horses were claimed, She’s Trippin North in a three-way shake and Gato Paso following a six way shake.

Apprentice Jose Alvarez was aboard both horses and has ridden the majority of Parboo’s winners during the Tropical meet.

“We love to use bug riders because of the weight concession,” Shivananda said. “And right now Alvarez is number one in our barn.”

Parboo also said he is expecting the Tropical success to carry over when racing shifts to Gulfstream Park during the winter.

“We plan to be just as aggressive both at the claim box and placing our horses when we get to Gulfstream,” he said.