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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.
Friday, October 3rd, 2014 - Opening Day
Race 1: PARKER ROAD (10) finished third after a rough break for a high percentage trainer at Keeneland. He should improve second time out at a longer distance, which his pedigree suggests. COSMO BLUE (6), the BERNARDINI ridgling, showed early speed going a flat mile for the Pletcher’s stable. RACE DAY (7) has displayed some talent going short and now gets jockey Rosie Napravnik in the saddle for his debut route race.
Race 2: BETTINA BRUGGE (5) leads into the race in top form with an experienced rider back in the saddle. Mare should lay close for the winning trip. DADDY’S MEMORY (1) returns to a sprint against easier company while making her second start with a sharp sprint barn. TWITTERVERSE (2) could be part of the early pace scenario for a piece of the puzzle.
Race 3: AVICII (3) has done well against higher priced claimers as she makes her second start off the claim for $50k so watch the odds board for the right price. Filly should like the return to the dirt. HUNTING HILL (4) hopes for some pace to stalk early on the dirt, which is her preferred surface. SILVER VALLEY (6) makes her second start off the short layoff and should like the shorter distance with her early speed from an outside draw.
Race 4: NUN THE LESS (9) was an impressive maiden winner over soft footing, and should like the turf as he faces winners for the first time. CLEVELAND SOUTH (3) needs a clean trip for his first start on the grass and takes on lesser company compared to his last two starts. DESIGNED FOR WAR (2) won on the grass to break his maiden at first asking, and the early runner may like a flat mile.
Race 5: JOE FRANKLIN (10) showed early speed and finished second best in a competitive maiden field. He has a sharp workout to move forward at second asking. PRO DADDY (5) has a nice breeze out of the gate on September 10th for a 19% trainer with first time starters. ETRUSCAN (2) is a well bred colt for sharp connections, but may prefer a longer distance.
Race 6: BOURBON COURAGE (2) has backclass to be dangerous, but tries a shorter distance off the long layoff. POLITICALLYCORRECT (5) faces easier company, but closer prefers longer distances so watch the odds. VEGAS NO SHOW (3) also prefers route races, but moves down in class.
Race 7: TAPIT WICKED (4) just missed by a nose on debut and should be a major player today. CLOVERDALE NINE (6) should be fit and ready for a high percentage 2yo barn. HOARDER (3) is bred for speed and raced in company with PRO DADDY (R5) with a powerful series of works.
Race 8: The Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes
EASTWOOD (6) returns off a brief freshening for the Pletcher stable with the ability to stalk at the distance. WORK ALL WEEK (8) has seven wins at the distance and should be a major early pace player. BERN IDENTITY (2) leads into the race at the top of his game with versatility plus he can run over a wet track.
Race 9: The Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes
FASHION ALERT (1) runs well going short as she goes for her third career win for the highly competitive Todd Pletcher stable. She’s bred for the stamina and hopes to prove it on the opening day. GAP YEAR (13) ran well late in the mudd first time out and retains jockey Joel Rosario in the irons. Filly runs for sharp connections and should improve second time out. PANGBURN (8) ran a strong second place performance in the G2 Pocahontas going long last start.
Race 10: PRINCESS MARIAH (3) has great form at the distance on the grass. KIMBERLY JEAN (12) makes several changes to be a player in a soft allowance race. CONQUEST REBEL (8) rallied late to finish second last time out and should sit just off the pace.