08/07/2007 11:00PM

Jockey wins women's 5K race


The Canterbury Park jockey colony slipped a ringer into last Saturday's annual 5K run that the track hosts during the city of Shakopee's Derby Days Festival. Jockey Jennifer Schmidt captured the women's division of the run and finished 20th overall, completing the run in 20 minutes, 42 seconds. The race begins in the Canterbury Park starting gate on the turf course, winds around the Canterbury Park grounds, and concludes at the track finish line, with Canterbury Park media relations director Jeff Maday describing the finish of the event on the track's public address system. Other Canterbury racetrackers who competed in the event included trainer Bruce Riecken, gate crew member Josh Engel, and paddock maintenance supervisor Eli Jones.

Schmidt, 27, was tied for the lead in the Quarter Horse jockey standings with Nik Goodwin with 11 wins and is the first-call rider for trainer Ralph Haglund. A native of Ravenna, Ohio, Schmidt has been involved with horses since her childhood, and has shown Arabians and competed in barrel racing and roping events. Schmidt's first exposure to the racetrack came when she was helping a friend at Thistledown, and she soon found herself galloping horses as a freelance excercise rider. Her first winner came on the 50-1 shot Nature's Pick for trainer Paul Marino at Thistledown in September 2003.

Schmidt began running in high school and was awarded a scholarship for her prowess in cross country events at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. Schmidt later transferred to Ohio State University, where she graduated with a degree in horse production and management.

* Rider Jared Slack's first start in a licensed parimutuel event on Sunday took a nasty turn when he fell off Lets Rock This Clock and rolled to a stop, face down on the track surface. Slack, 22, regained consciousness in the jockeys' room and had full use of his extremities. He was taken to a local hospital for further examination.

* Canterbury Park contributed proceeds from its Thursday night gate receipts to local charities working to aid families that suffered from the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis.