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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.
Race 1: BERNIE THE MAESTRO (3) exits a tiring performance against graded stakes company on Toyota Blue Grass day. He gets some class relief to make a big move forward second start over the track this meet. ADIOS NARDO (1) also will benefit with a race over the track to improve in this spot today. THEY CALL HIM EL (2) runs first off the claim (13%) with good synthetic form, but at longer distances.
Race 2: SPARTAN KING (8) raced evenly in his last effort and hopes to offer more at the same class level this time around. BROTHER STUART (3) returns fresh with a positive rider switch. THE GREAT GONZO (1) improved slightly last timeout and will have to make a big jump forward to be a threat today, but catches a soft field.
Race 3: NAUGHTY NIGHTIE (3) was in a tough spot on debut with a slow start. She showed some heart while turning for home and should improve at second asking. SMITTENWITHKITTEN (1) set the early pace going long on a similar surface last time. The Maker-trained filly should be tougher at the short distance, but watch the odds on this one. BIG BROWN BROOKSKI (11) has steady works to be ready on debut and well bred for the distance.
Race 4: CANTINERO (6) rallied late for third place in a blanket finish and should like the extra furlong today. EMPIRE KNIGHT (8) is a 3yo son of EMPIRE MAKER that has consistent works for an 18% trainer with firsters. E PLURIBUS (11) handled the track well last time against slightly easier company. He may be forwardly placed from the inside this time around.
Race 5: SILENT PIPE (1) and GOODTIMEBYHADBYALL (1A) looks like a solid entry in today’s fifth. Both exit performances they most likely needed to move forward in this race. TOBOGGAN SLIDE (4) has plenty of works to suggest he’s ready off a long break. He hasn’t raced since 2011 and gets substantial class relief to help his chances today, but keep an eye on the odds. TANGLED SHEETS (8) loves this track and has one win at the distance to be a contender in this field.
Race 6: DRAW TOO (7) was an impressive winner against maiden allowance foes last October, but hasn’t raced since then to question whether he will perform his best or not today. He has four moderate works to consider at decent odds. BOLD DANCE (10) returns fresh with decent turf form. SQUALL KING (2) runs back with allowance horses after he was beat by nine lengths against graded stakes company.
Race 7: WHY TAKE A CHANCE (3) found her best stride too late to finish fourth in a high priced claiming race. She drops in class and makes her second start off the break. STARSHIP GAMBLER (2) exits a troubled trip and runs first off the claim. TAP ALL NIGHT (6) may be better as a sprinter, but there’s not much to beat in this field to show speed and finish in the money at a decent price.
Race 8: DAME MARIE (2) has several close finishes on the grass against second level allowance foes and should be a player again with jockey Leparoux picking up the mount. TROPHY WIFE (1) was caught in the final strides last time she raced at Keeneland. She gives it another try off the bench and draw the rail. QUEEN OF THE WAVES (8) was an easy winner once she overcame a bumped break and moves up the ladder.
Race 9: SOUTHERN JOY (1) won wire to wire in his latest over the main track at a longer distance and should like the turn back breaking from the rail for top connections. FIVE AFLEET (5) ran second in a starter allowance race last time on the grass elsewhere, but has good form over synthetic surfaces too. STRONG APPEAL (7) just missed in a key race at the distance three starts back in a tougher field.