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Bradford native front and center at the Kentucky Derby

Katie Piscitelli turned her love for horses into an incredible career that has her in the thick of one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

It's the most exciting two minutes in sports when twenty horses burst out the gates at Churchill Downs every year in the Kentucky Derby. 

Of course fans know about the race itself, and the outfits with the hats and the mint juleps but there's so much more that goes into it that most people don't see or really even think about. 

That's where Katie Piscitelli comes in. 

She works for Moquett Racing as the team's business manager making sure everything behind the scenes runs smoothly. 

"Every owner must be licensed, the trainer must be licensed, we have to make sure every horse has registration papers they have to be present at that race track. They have to have certain health certificates and blood work," Katie Piscitelli explained. 

"It's very important the correct silks go on so the week before Derby I'm in touch with all the owners just all the logistics that go in behind it to make it work. And my final thing is when I see that jockey come out of the jockey's room with the correct silk I've done everything I can do. And at that point I'm like, thumbs up okay it's up to the horse now," Katie said. 

You get all that? And that's only part of what Katie does leading up to the race. 

But it all leads up to one of the most memorable experiences she's ever had. 

"Who would think a little girl from the Valley Hunt Club in Bradford Pennsylvania would end up being blessed to do the walk over at the Kentucky Derby. That's a fairy tale to me," Katie said. 

Katie grew up in Bradford and started riding horses when she was in grade school. Then her love for the animals turned into an incredible career. She moved to Kentucky in 2002 and met Ron Moquett of Moquett Racing who she now works for. 

She got to see two Moquett horses run in the Kentucky Derby, Far Right in 2015 and Whitmore in 2016. 

This year they don't have any racing in the Derby but Whitmore will run in the Churchill Downs Stakes which is one of the races on Saturday leading up to the Kentucky Derby. 

And even though the hours are long and it's a crazy, hectic week, Katie says it doesn't feel like work when you love it. 

"Every day I get up and I'm so thrilled to be in this industry and take part in such these wonderful animals."

Coverage of the Kentucky Derby starts at noon on Saturday,May 4th on NBCSN then flips over to Channel 2 and NBC at 2:30. Post time is at approximately 6:50 p.m.

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