By: Rebecca Roush
Kassie Guglielmino, originally from Northport, Washington, is one of several female riders at Canterbury Park this season. This is Guglielmino’s first year in Shakopee, but she has been riding races professionally since 2012. She has had more than 1,400 career starts and 224 wins, earning $1.06 million in purses for her connections. Guglielmino has also won multiple stakes races throughout her career.
The 23-year-old rider knew she wanted to race since a young age. After growing up on a cattle ranch in northern Washington, Guglielmino had gained plenty of experience with riding horses. With limited connections she relied on her father and his friends to guide her into the world of horseracing.
Living just 10 miles south of the Canadian border, she began racing at small ‘backyard tracks’ near home before moving on to larger tracks throughout Canada. Guglielmino made her professional racing debut when she was 17 at Sunflower Downs in Princeton, British Columbia where she finished fifth on a horse named Absolute Magnitude.
The element that Guglielmino says sets Canterbury apart from the other tracks where she has raced is the fan involvement and the atmosphere. “The whole town seems to love the racetrack, which is different from a lot of places,” said Guglielmino. “It’s really fun to be in a place where everyone is really into the races.”
favorite part about riding in a race is taking in the excitement from the fans and experiencing the highly energetic atmosphere. “On race day the thing I look forward to, aside from winning, is the response that we receive from the crowds. There is nothing else like it.”
When she is not busy racing, Guglielmino often goes hiking and checks out local attractions with husband and fellow jockey, Jake Samuels. “We both like to get out and experience new things wherever we are,” she said. She also enjoys trail riding when she can.
One of Guglielmino’s future racing goals includes breaking 500 wins and depending on the length of her career she would “love to retire with 1,000 wins.”
It is clear that Guglielmino has passion for what she does. “She is a real horse girl,” trainer Francisco Bravo said of the jockey. “She really knows her stuff and the horses seem to like her,” he added. Last Friday Guglielmino notched her first Canterbury win, going gate to wire on Awesome Emmit, a horse trained by Bravo.
“I can’t imagine stepping away from racing and doing anything else right now,” she said. “I absolutely love it.”