Thursday, March 15, 2012
NTRA Thoroughbred Notebook
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK  top 
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Prospective wins the Grade II $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby. (Image courtesy of Tampa Bay Downs, Tom Cooley Photography)
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Santa Anita Park will throw a baby shower for Zenyatta this Saturday to benefit Thoroughbred retirement centers Old Friends Farm and CANTER. (Image via Santa Anita Park) 
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Zenyatta and her Bernardini colt relax in the sun at Lane’s End Farm. (Image by Matt Martinez for Zenyatta.com) 
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Image courtesy of Nat Kay Photography
Katie Mikolay-Gensler—known professionally as Katie Mikolay—is in her second full season as the racing analyst at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Prior to arriving at Fair Grounds, Mikolay worked in a similar capacity at Presque Isle Downs. The wife of trainer Hank Gensler, Mikolay got her start in the Thoroughbred industry in 2001 as a media intern at Arlington Park, and she parlayed that opportunity into a job as co-host of Horsin’ Around on Fox Sports Chicago. She has also hosted FX Magazine on the Extreme Sports Network in California.
TWO MINUTE LICK WITH KATIE MIKOLAY top

Name: Kathleen “Katie” Hope Mikolay-Gensler

 

What I do for a living: Horse Racing Analyst

 

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred Racing: When I was a little girl, my family and I would go to Arlington Park on weekends (they still do!) and one of my favorite things to do was watch the paddock hosts.

 

My favorite racetracks: Presque Isle Downs, Fair Grounds and Arlington Park in no particular order.

 

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Any race when a filly or mare takes on the boys. Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Goldikova, Havre de Grace, etc.

 

Other sports/teams I follow: I am a diehard football fan…Da Bears! And I like to “pretend” I can hit the golf ball now and then with my husband, Hank.

 

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred Racing: I would like to see more respect to the smaller outfits that make up a big part of this industry.

 

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred Racing: short fields

 

Three words that define what Thoroughbred Racing means to me: Athletes, pageantry, exhilaration

 

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Arlington Park

 

Favorite All-time Thoroughbred: Rachel Alexandra. 

 

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing: Meeting my husband.

 

Best racetrack food can be found at: Another tough question, but Fair Grounds does a great job capturing the essence of the city by bringing Cajun cuisine to its menu.

 

My favorite jockey: I was really happy to see Ramon Dominguez finally get the credit he deserves by receiving the Eclipse Award…twice!

 

My favorite trainer: Well, my husband of course!

 

My Heroes: In life…my mom who has overcome a lot in her life to give me a better life; In racing…Christine Gabriel (she might not know this, but she was the one who inspired me to become what I am.)

 

Person in Thoroughbred Racing I’d like to have dinner with: Todd Pletcher to ask him who he likes in the Kentucky Derby…is it too early?

 

My philosophy on life: Enjoy life…you only do it once!

 

Favorite quote or motto: “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

 

Favorite animal other than a horse: My new puppy. Her name is Lexi Longhorn (after my favorite college football team).

 

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Really any sporting event is fun to me!  Hank and I went to the Patriots vs. Cowboys game last October in Boston, which was a great time!

 

Favorite food: My mom’s Swedish meatballs or a deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago.

 

Favorite Musician/band: I love country music, but after watching Madonna perform during the Super Bowl, I was reminded how great she really is!

 

Favorite all-time movie(s): I have always been a fan of epic movies such as Braveheart, The Patriot, Gladiator, etc.  I never get sick of watching them.

 

Favorite TV Show: American Idol, and the only time I voted was for Carrie Underwood.

 

Websites I visit daily: Brisnet, Equibase, Twinspires, ESPN, but lately it has been puppy training sites.

 

What I drive: only 150 yards on a good day at the golf course.  Oh, car!…a very fast one.

 

Pet Peeve: When I only play $5 or $10 on a horse I really like.

 

Favorite vacation spot: Home, since I travel so much, and anywhere on the beach!

 

Favorite movie about horse racing: Seabiscuit for best drama, and Let It Ride for best comedy

 

Which actor would play me in a movie: Charlize Theron has always been one of my favorites.  She seems very free-spirited.

 

Alma Mater: Roosevelt University in Chicago

 

Favorite Radio shows/channels: Sirius satellite radio 

 

Best Book I recently read: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 

Favorite Tech gadget: Cannot live without my iPhone!

 

Twitter Handle: @katiemikolay

 

People I follow on Twitter: Sports fanatics like me and my co-host @johngdooley

 

No. 1 Bucket List Item: I would love to be a sideline reporter at a big football game.

FAN PHOTO OF THE WEEK top
NTRA
Congratulations to photographer Ian Clayton, winner of the March 14 Fan Photo contest! From Ian: "This is Shackleford at Monmouth Park in July of 2011" Want in? E-mail your photo submissions to photos@NTRA.com with a caption!
WING'S WATCH top
NEW WEEKLY FEATURE: NTRA.com’s Eric Wing offers up insights on who he thinks are the Top 40 Triple Crown contenders. (Wing's Watch PDF)
VOICES top
FROM THE GRANDSTAND top
Owners Ann and Jerry Moss on the birth of Zenyatta’s first foal, a colt by Bernardini:

“Zenyatta is an amazing mother. She is so proud of her foal, and so are we. He is already showing his mother’s spirit, and the way Zenyatta encourages and nurtures her precious baby is simply beautiful.”


VIDEOS OF THE WEEK top
America’s Best Racing: Watch it. Play it. Love it. (America’s Best Racing)

 

Zenyatta and her colt moments after he was born (RuffianQueenOfRacing YouTube channel)

 

Creative Cause before, during and after his big San Felipe win (Los Angeles Times YouTube channel)

 

Humor: iPad for horses? (icanhascheezburger.com)

 

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart supports off-the-track Thoroughbreds with his foundation, Tony’s Ex-Racers (TonyStewartFoundation YouTube channel)


IN THE NEWS top
HBO cancels “Luck” after third Thoroughbred dies (USA Today)

 

“Luck” cancellation: why HBO made the right move (Huffington Post)

 

Why do horses break down? The Jockey Club tries to find out (Forbes)

 

Havre de Grace draws post 2 for Saturday’s New Orleans Ladies S. (SportsNola.com)


Havre de Grace has final workout before New Orleans Ladies this Saturday
(SportsNola.com)

Servis will test his Triple Crown hopeful Adirondack King in Saturday’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (
ESPN)

 

Musical Romance faces 10 rivals in Inside Information at Gulfstream Saturday (The Blood-Horse)

 

Ellafitz, Include Me Out to clash in Santa Margarita Invitational Saturday (Thoroughbred Times)

 

Animal Kingdom injured, will miss Dubai World Cup (The Lexington Herald Leader) 

Royal Delta to take on the boys at Meydan (
Gulfnews.com)

 

Lucky Chappy to voyage to Dubai for UAE Derby (Thoroughbred Times)

 

Kentucky Derby gets juvenile attention (New York Post)

 

Creative Cause proves he belongs on the Triple Crown trail (Bleacherreport.com)

 

Betfair buys Hollywood Park’s naming rights (The Blood-Horse)

 

Claiming Crown heading to Gulfstream in December (Daily Racing Form)
 

Horse racing’s Jockey Club ponies up with rebranded website (USA Today)

The new face of horse racing? (
Paulick Report)

NTRA, Jockey Club debut Social Media Campaign to promote "America's Best Racing"
(Sports Business Daily)

Madness and more madness (
Chicago Now.com)

Road to the Kentucky Derby and more with America’s Best Racing (
Bleacherreport.com)

Game on Dude and Union Rags lead NTRA Polls (
The Telegraph.com)

NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance updates code
(Thoroughbred Times.com)

New Vocations hosts “Thoroughbreds for All
!”(The Handicappers Edge.com)

Up the backstretch: A true survivor story (
The Miami-Herald)

New ownership at Monmouth Park plan to evolve year-round destination (
hub.gmnews.com)

 

Churchill Downs to build “The Mansion” (The Blood-Horse)


Belmont celebration to benefit charities (
The Blood-Horse)

 

Aiken Trials open Triple Crown events (The Augusta Chronicle)

Soldiers helped by WarHorse program (The Saratogian)

IN THE BLOGOSPHERE top
The Jockey Club turns to technology to promote horse racing (Bizjournals.com)

Another March madness (joefavorito.com)

A Kentucky Derby Sweet 16 (Horseracingnation.com)

Creative Cause wins the San Felipe Stakes (
Xpressbet.com)

Hansen and Creative Cause got me thinking about the greatest grays of all-time (Horseracingnation.com)

Howe Great beats Dullahan in Palm Beach Stakes (Bettor.com)

Mucho Macho Man becomes a millionaire after Gulfstream win (Ocala.com)

Commentary on last weekend’s key stakes races (Daily Racing Form)

Met Mile Dreamin’ Caleb’s Posse vs. Mucho Macho Man (Horseracingnation.com)

Zenyatta’s foal and good news for fans (ESPN.com)

Zenyatta and her handsome colt (Thoroughbred Confidential.com)

On Zenyatta, the blogger
(Forbes.com)
NHC NEWS top
NTRA

Gulfstream Park Handicapping Challenge set for this weekend (Gulfstream Park
)

 

Horsetourneys.com qualifiers for the NHC kick off this Sunday (NTRA)

 

Monmouth Park qualifier set for March 24 (NTRA)

 

Registration now open for Keeneland’s high-end Grade One Gamble on April 22, offering 5 NHC spots. (NTRA)

 

Treasure Island to host 100% payback NHC Qualifiers April 7, May 6 and June 10 (NTRA.com)

 

Learn more about the 2012 Daily Racing Form NHC Tour (NHC)

CALENDAR top
RACING TO HISTORY top
March 17, 1973: In his three-year-old debut, Secretariat won the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct by 4 ½ lengths.

 

March 18, 2001: Zippy Chippy beat a Standardbred horse named Paddy’s Lady at Freehold Raceway. Because the race was an exhibition, Zippy Chippy officially maintained his record of 89 starts without a victory.

 

March 19, 1942: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of the United States was formed, with John C. Clark as president.

 

March 19, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his first career race, at Golden Gate Fields. He finished fifth, aboard Waxahachie, in an eight-horse field.

 

March 19, 2010: Ramon Dominguez became the 58th jockey to win 4,000 races when he guided Fortyninegeorgest to victory in the second race at Aqueduct.

 

March 20, 1932: Phar Lap, legendary champion racehorse of Australia, won his only start in North America, the Agua Caliente Handicap at Agua Caliente Racecourse in Mexico. His time for the 1 ¼-mile race was 2:02 4/5, a track record. The six-year-old Phar Lap died one month later and the cause of his death remains a mystery. During his four years of racing in Australia, Phar Lap won 36 of 50 starts.

 

March 20, 1969: Less than two months after she became the first woman to ride in a parimutuel race in America, Diane Crump rode her first winner at Gulfstream Park.

 

March 23, 1927: Future Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

 

March 24, 1851: California’s first organized race for Thoroughbreds took place at the Pioneer Course in San Francisco. The city’s residents added a purse of $250 to the sweepstakes, which was set at $15 each for the three competitors. T. K. Battelle’s colt Boston won.

 

March 24, 1932: Omaha, the only Triple Crown winner to be sired by another Triple Crown winner (Gallant Fox), was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

 

March 24, 1940:  Future Triple Crown winner Count Fleet was foaled at Stoner Creek Stud, Paris, Ky.

 

March 24, 1941: Upset, the only horse ever to defeat Man o’ War, died at age 24.

 

March 24, 1953: A program for nationwide televising of 10 of the richest races being run in New York and Delaware, was announced. NBC and ABC provided network coverage for the Saturday broadcasts, which were scheduled for April 18-June 20.

 

March 24, 1997: Assicurazioni Generali, the lead underwriter on the congenital infertility insurance on Horse of the Year Cigar, agreed to pay the $25 million claim filed by owners Allen Paulson and Coolmore Stud.  Coolmore received $18.75 million and Paulson got $6.25 million, representing the parties’ respective 75% and 25% ownership interests.

 

March 26, 1943: Future Triple Crown winner Assault was foaled at King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas.

 

March 26, 1966: Jockey Eddie Maple won his first career race, at Ascot Park in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

 

March 26, 1992: Henryk de Kwiatkowski purchased Calumet Farm for $17 million at auction. He paid an additional $210,000 for the Calumet name.

 

March 26, 2011: Rosie Napravnik became the first female rider to win the Louisiana Derby en route to also becoming the first woman to win the Fair Grounds riding title.

 

March 27, 1953: The ABC radio network announced it would broadcast a series of major East Coast races, beginning April 4 and continuing through Nov. 14.

 

March 27, 1997: A group of Thoroughbred organizations, including The Jockey Club, Breeders’ Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association and Oak Tree Racing Association, announced it would undertake a joint planning process to create a national coordination and marketing structure for Thoroughbred racing.

 

March 27, 2009: Alysheba, 1987 Kentucky Derby winner and 1988 Horse of the Year died at the Kentucky Horse Park at age 25.


WEEKEND STAKES RACES top
SATURDAY, MARCH 17

Rebel Stakes, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M, Oaklawn Park

 

Santa Margarita Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $300,000, Grade I, 1 1-8M, Santa Anita Park

 

Inside Information Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Gulfstream Park

 

Azeri Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Oaklawn Park

 

Excelsior Stakes, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M, Aqueduct

 

New Orleans Ladies Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1-16M, Fair Grounds

 

Private Terms Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1M, Laurel Park

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 18

Honey Fox Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Gulfstream Park

 

San Luis Rey Stakes, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1-2M (T), Santa Anita Park

 

Time Tested Stakes, 4&up, $75,000, 6F, Aqueduct


RACING ON THE AIR (All times Eastern) top

March 24 Road to the Kentucky Derby, Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes and Bourbonette Oaks (Turfway Park), 5:00-600 p.m., NBC Sports Network

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