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Longshot on dark horse pays off

Photo provided Wadena's John Scheiding and Barb Scheiding followed the traditions of the Kentucky Derby when they attended the 135th running May 9 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

If you are looking for a long shot winner in a horse race you would be smart to talk to Barb Scheiding first.

John Scheiding was all set to put a $2 bet down on a good mudder May 9 at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. The Wadena trucker had taken Barb and her friend, Jennifer Mann, to the famous race as part of a promise he made long ago.

"I told her when she was a little girl that when she graduated I'd take her to the Kentucky Derby and she held me to it," Scheiding said.

Barb has had plenty of practice at horse judging. She is a member of the Wadena-Deer Creek FFA and she has judged horses at shows all over the United States.

John had put down several $2 bets and even a $10 bet but he was not going to put anything on Mine That Bird, a 50-to-1 shot in the 20-horse field.

Fortunately for John, his daughter has been following horse racing for a long time. For starters, she knew that the Mine That Bird had a good jockey. Calvin Borel had ridden the winning horse, Rachel Alexandra, in the Kentucky Oaks race at Churchill Downs the day before the derby.

"The horse itself looked very good," Barb said, who felt the long odds were based on the fact that the horse had never run on a regular dirt track.

John's horse ran to victory and between them the group made around $170 on their bets. The girls followed the tradition of dressing up for the race and John treated himself to a $4 cigar and a $9 glass of bourbon.

"It was a blast," said Barb, who intends to follow her love of horses and horse racing in the years ahead. She wants to own her own horse ranch and attend some of the other big horse races, including the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes and the Breeder's Cup.

Barb's uncles, Dutch (Asher) and Jim, are involved in horse racing at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee. Dutch is a trainer and Jim owns some horses. Barb has five horses of her own which she stables at the Murray farm on the southeast side of Wadena. She has earned a scholarship and will be attending the University of Minnesota this fall where she plans to go into Veterinary Science.