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Katie Mikolay Gensler's first exposure to racing came at a young age, attending Arlington Park with her family on weekends when she grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She has been the racing analyst at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana for the last three years. In addition to hosting the daily Churchill Downs Simulcast Network production of live Fair Grounds racing, Mikolay co-hosts the pre-race Fair Grounds Today show. She also contributes to FairGroundsRaceCourse.com as both a handicapper and blogger during the live Thoroughbred meeting and has made special appearances on HRTV and NBC Sports. During the summers, she performs similar duties at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania for the 100-day race meet for the last five years. As an advocate for fan education, Katie has teamed up with America's Best Racing to teach wagering and produce racing 101 videos to increase horse racing awareness. She has been married to Thoroughbred horse trainer, Hank Gensler, for three years.
Saturday, October 11th, 2014
Race 1: QUALITY COUNCIL (7) returns off a long layoff, but a trustworthy stable to have him ready plus he has consistent works to handle a soft $16k claiming field. GRAND COULEE (2) returns to the dirt with a bullet breeze to be tough at a lower level. LAKE CREEK (6) has early speed hoping for a good trip from the outside as he makes his second start off the bench.
Race 2: ROPE A DOPE (7) ran second on the dirt in an open $50k claiming race. He needs the perfect trip in this wide-open event, and barn switches to jockey John Velazquez to help his chances. THE THIRD ACE (6) is the most consistent and won his last two starts, but the added distance makes him vulnerable at short odds. PERKY KITTEN (1) has been a strong contender to play in the gimmicks over softer footing. He broke his maiden at 9 ½ furlongs, but surface is an issue.
Race 3: TONY B (3) ran second in starter allowance for $50k. He’s the class of the race with a sharp rider in the saddle for a clean trip to stardom. SKYLANDER (6) won his latest and has the ability to stalk the early pace. STARTER (2) competes second start off the break. He ran second from off the pace to be a stretch contender against this field.
Race 4: FELIX THE LION (4) should be part of the early pace to be a threat from the start for a 31% winning barn. The dam, BIG BAMBU, was a sharp sprinter on the dirt. EIGHTY THREE (9) was wide thru most of the race, but managed to finish third and moves to the dirt against MSW. COMMANDMENT (2) always finds way to get beat, but a solid gimmicks player if the price is right.
Race 5: DR TURKMEN (4) surprisingly ran well first time out at 20-1. He should improve at second asking with two strong workouts. MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER (1) gets a top rider in the saddle for competes for strong connections. Barn wins at 19% with first time starters and colt bred for speed. ATTAIN (7) ran well in first two races and gets first time Lasix with an experienced rider in the saddle.
Race 6: KEENING (10) leads into the race at the top of her game and should be a major player with her current form and ability to sit early and close late. FINE ASSAY (7) has run well at the distance and should be forwardly placed from the gate for a better trip than last two starts. MODERNSTONE (12) may prefer a longer distance than 9 ½ furlongs, and she has been on the shelf the last few months. Workouts are consistent and sharp rider in the saddle.
Race 7: NAGZILLA (8) won by several lengths when she broke her maiden and barn makes the right move by facing condition allowance foes next outing for a winning trip from off the pace. SARAH SIS (1) exits a key race, which the winner, QUALITY ROCKS, ran second in the Jessamine Stakes and the third place finisher, HAPPY TO GO, won a stakes. LOVELY MARIA (5) won at first asking and training well for another outstanding performance.
Race 8: DIVINE BEAUTY (7) has been impressive in her lightly raced career and training well over the track to be a threat against this group. STREET GIRL (5) is another with fast works and positive clocker comments to be a prime suspect plus she’s the class of the race. DREAM SOFTLY (2) runs with blinkers off, but the distance may be an issue.
Race 9: The Grade 2 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Personal Diary (5) won the Del Mar Oaks in impressive fashion and she returns fresh at the top of her game as a 3yo for a good trip from off the pace. BALL DANCING (6) won her first start in the U.S. at the distance on the grass. Barn does well at this level and she looks primed and ready for another strong effort on the grass. CROWN QUEEN (8) competes for another winning turf outfit and she has proven herself over the summer. Nice works and she has tactical speed.
Race 10: WASATCH (6) is well-bred first time starter that shows consistent plus a fast ½ mile drill with a top rider in the irons. INCLUDE BETTY (7) has really good works including a few six-furlong drills to be fit first time out. Filly gets in light with a bug rider aboard. I ZOOM (9) finished well on debut and gets first time Lasix.