SHAKOPEE, Minn. (KMSP) - Paul Nolan had one of the best records as a jockey in Canterbury Park history, but his last race is the one he'll remember forever.
In one of the worst crashes the track has ever seen, Nolan suffered three fractured vertebrae and a fellow jockey was nearly killed. That was eight years ago, and he's been working hard ever since to reach his goal of walking on his own someday.
“I didn’t blame anybody," he said Thursday during a rehab session at the Courage Kenny Institute. "I was out there doing a job and for some reason it happened.”
On Saturday Canterbury Park is raising money for permanently injured jockeys like Nolan, who often don't have either health or disability insurance. It's called Jockeys and Jeans after a group of former jockeys who help those who are suffering from career-ending injuries and is part of the track's most lucrative nights of racing this season.