By Rebecca Roush
With 21 wins this season, trainer Jason Olmsted certainly knows his way to the winner’s circle. This will be his fourth straight champion quarter horse training title at Canterbury Park.
The Olmstead barn is currently filled with 45 horses, but with the quarter horse portion of the meet concluding soon the 39-year-old trainer will soon be down to only five remaining here for the Minnesota Festival of Champions on September 2, as the other trainees will head to Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa to race before he sends them “home” to their owners.
When he arrives at his farm in Pryor, Oklahoma in October, Olmstead says there will likely be nearly 40 two-year-olds waiting for him to break, many acquired through sales.
Olmstead has won more than 200 career races and the horses have earned more than $4.29 million for their connections.
He trained 2-year-old Lynnder 16 to victory in the $864,500 Grade 2 Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity and now that filly is at Ruidoso Downs awaiting the trials for the $3 million All American Futurity later this month.
Olmstead comes from a family of horsemen. His grandfather was a trainer and Olmstead grew up helping him with horses until he was able to become a jockey. Olmstead rode professionally for 15 years before moving on to training with his wife, Amber. He ended his riding career with 69 wins from 1,084 starts and earned more than $530,000 for his connections.
Having had a career as a jockey was a “big help” for Olmstead and he says it led him to where he is now. He had the chance to observe many barns while riding and says he picked up different tricks along the way. “I was able to learn from some of the best trainers out there,” he added.
The multi graded stakes winning trainer says that the biggest lesson he has learned is that “you continuously evolve.” He added that “every horse is so different and what works for one might not work for another.”
Olmstead has had many successful meets at Canterbury Park and this year is no exception. On July 8, he won the $146,400 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity with Minnesota bred Jess Doin Time, the third time the trainer has won Canterbury’s richest Q race.
First of 15, a 3-year-old filly trained by Olmstead, is tied with Jess Doin Time with three wins, the most of any quarter horse at the meet.
“Training is a 24/7 gig,” Olmstead said. “It takes an army to get a horse to where it needs to be,” he added.