By: Rebecca Roush
Jake Samuels is new to racing at Canterbury Park this year. Originally from Wellpinit, Washington, Samuels made his professional racing debut at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington in 2011. Since then, he has had more than 1,900 career starts with over 300 wins and nearly $1.5 million in earnings.
Samuels began his journey after working a summer ranch job in 2009. This was where his cousin talked him into buying his first horse, which ended up being the first he had ever ridden. After learning how to train and care for the horse, Samuels became more comfortable with the idea of racing one day.
Samuels won his first race on opening weekend racing for Francisco Bravo.
A favorite racing memory that Samuels has is when he ‘dead-heated’ with his wife and fellow jockey, Kassie Guglielmino, at Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon. “It was a fun experience when we had our win picture taken together,” said Samuels.
Samuels continues to race not only because of the fans, but because of the feeling it gives him when he wins a race as well. He described the feeling of winning his first race here as a ‘reboot.’ “Kassie and I are new to racing in Minnesota and we both want to do well. The victories are what we strive for.”
One future goal that Samuels has for his racing career is “being able to enter a big quarter horse race.” He would also like to make it to the Kentucky Derby one day. “Every rider’s dream is to race in the Kentucky Derby and that is definitely one of mine,” he added.
After racing at many tracks in the Pacific Northwest and in Canada, Samuels is impressed by the crowds at Canterbury Park. “The fans are unlike any other and the management really cares about the riders and the horses,” he said when asked what sets Canterbury Park apart from other tracks.
Outside of racing, Samuels enjoys spending time hiking in the mountains and hunting with his family back home.