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Mikolay Named New Racing Analyst

Katie Mikolay has been hired as the new racing analyst at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the upcoming 139th Thoroughbred Racing Season that opens Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25. A 31-year-old native of Elk Grove Village, Ill., Mikolay has performed similar duties for the past three seasons at both Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago and Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

“Katie is a rising star in our industry and our customers will quickly learn to admire her work,” said Fair Grounds Vice President and General Manager Eric Halstrom. “It seems most racing analysts are known either for their handicapping prowess or for their dynamic personality but with Katie we have one of the few who excels in both areas.”

In addition to hosting the daily Churchill Downs Simulcast Network production of live Fair Grounds racing, Mikolay will co-host the pre-race Fair Grounds Today show with track announcer John Dooley. She also will contribute to FairGroundsRaceCourse.com as both a handicapper and blogger.  

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work on-air at the nation’s best winter racetrack,” Mikolay said. “This is the kind of meet where you see Eclipse Award winners and Kentucky Derby hopefuls regularly throughout the entire season. As a horseplayer I can’t wait to bet such good racing on a daily basis.”

Mikolay and trainer Hank Gensler will be married this month. Mikolay’s first official duty as Fair Grounds racing analyst will be as host of an invitation-only Twin Spires Club VIP event on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, Nov. 6.

Mikolay’s first exposure to racing came at a young age, attending Arlington Park with her family. In 2001 Mikolay secured an internship at Arlington, which she parlayed into another job as co-host of Horsin’ Around on Fox Sports Chicago. She also has experience in the extreme sports world, having hosted FX Magazine on the Extreme Sports Network in California. She is a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago.