“Lou’s” Stallion Legacy Continues

By Mike Paradise


Nowadays it’s a near certainty when it comes to the naming of the Illinois Trotting Sire of the Year. For the fifth year in a row and the sixth in the last seven, the Flacco Family Farm’s pride and joy stallion Lou’s Legacy came away with the honor.


And why not?


Lou’s Legacy’s daughter Funky Wiggle (1:51.4, $131,235) deservingly captured the 2022 Illinois Harness Horse of the Year award, to go along with the ICF three-year-old filly trotting prize for her trainer and co-owner Curt Grummel.


These foals are adorable offsprings of the prominent Flacco Family Farms stallion Lou’s Legacy, named the Illinois Stallion of the Year for the fifth consecutive time last month. (Photos courtesy of Flacco Family Farms).

Plus, the Grummel stable’s Marvelous Mystery (1:57.2, $129,722), another Lou’s Legacy youngster, was selected as the prairie state’s top two-year-old filly trotter. Likewise, the Steve Searle trained Lousdobb (1:54.1, $117,235) made it back-to-back years for the son of Lou’s Legacy to be honored, this time in the state-bred three-year-old colt trotting category.


Lous Legacy, a son of Windsong’s Legacy, out of the Meadow Road broodmare Lady Love mare, was attained by Flacco Family Farms in early 2013. The productive stallion’s sons and daughters have earned over $7 million and countless ICF awards since, not too shabby for a horse that was a bit of a gamble to be an effective money-maker as a stallion because of a low fertility rate.


“I thought I could do a few things that might help Lou’s Legacy and he’s turned out to be just unbelievable for us,” said Dr. Richard Flacco, who heads-up the Alexis, Illinois family’s enterprise. “His fertility rate is like 10 times better than it was when we got him,”


In his family practice as a doctor, Flacco has been involved in the fertility of humans and has used that knowledge in the horse breeding business.


Among Lou’s Legacy’s successful Illinois bred foals over the past several years include Funky Wiggle, Louzotic, Lougazi, Lousdobb, Lousraptor, Loulita, Encantado, Lous Abigail, Lousciper, and Marvelous Mystery.


Another plum for the Flacco farm came about when their mare Olives And Caviar (SJ’s Caviar – Winbak Olive) was named the Illinois Trotting Broodmare of the Year for a second straight time.


A Wise Decision: Turning to the prairie state’s pacing category, John and Joan’s homebred Gimmeazzzmooch (Four Starzzz Shark – Fox Valley Moochie) landed the 2022 Illinois Pacing Broodmare of the Year award.


Gimmeazzmooch’s first foal He’zzz A Wise Sky once again repeated as the top ICF aged pacer of the year. The Yankee Skyscraper offspring hauled in over $202,000 as a five-year-old, winning 14 of 28 starts against some of the best in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and lowered his mark to 1:48.3.


He’zzz A Wise Sky’s three-year-old sister Kizzzmelikeumissme (1:53.3) banked $44,689 in her first year of competition, while half-brother Rollinwithdaponyzzz (1:51.2) earned over $66,000. The Time To Roll gelding was claimed off the Triple ZZZ stable for $8,000 last year and has raced out of four different barns since.


Kizzzmelikeumissme’s first season was cut short when the filly suffered a bone chip after her race in the Downstate Classic on August 3rd at the Altamont fair track. The filly was on the mend when the fall’s important Plum Peachy stake on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions was contested in mid-September.


“She’s a big filly and the race at Altamont was her first time on half-miler,” said trainer John Filomeno. “I was happy with her effort. She finished second to a track record performance (1:58.3). It was her last race of the season. We took care of her injury and she’ll be ready when the Illinois racing season gets way at Springfield.”


Kizzzmelikeyoumissme posted four wins in an even dozen starts including victories at Hawthorne in a $30,000 ICF sophomore filly pace and the summer’s Plum Peachy stake elimination.


Filomeno has another full brother and full sister to He’zzz A Wise Sky and Kizzmelikeumissme on the way. The two-year-old colt Who’zzz This Sky is being prepared for the upcoming Illinois racing season and Filomeno also has his younger sister Minithezzzmoocher. (You gotta love those names).

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Illinois Trotting Queen Will Race Another Year

Annas Lucky Star is not ready for her next career just yet. Click here to read more. http://harnessillinois.com/mike-paradise-stories-and-selections/


Will Illinois Trotting Queen Step Down?

By Mike Paradise


Should she keep racing, or step down from her throne?  That question pertains to the fate of long-time Illinois trotting queen Annas Lucky Star.


Was 2022 the last year of her brilliant racing career that saw the now nine-year-old mare come away with yet another year end ICF trotting award (her seventh straight) or does her new calling as a broodmare begin this year?


Those two choices once again had to be tackled by Annas Lucky Star owner and breeder Danny Graham.


The Salem, Illinois native has often changed his mind the past few years from retirement for this talented trotter to one more year of competition, and each time Annas Lucky Star proved that motherhood should wait.



This time there was no hesitation in Danny’s voice when the obvious question was popped.


“We’re going to race her one more year,” disclosed Graham. “She’s real sound and she earned another year of racing. Right now, we’ve got her at Ray Hanna’s place in Altamont (IL). I’ve driven up there a few times to see how she’s doing and she’s doing fine.


“Anna probably won’t be looked upon as the No. 1 Illinois trotting mare going into this season. That title will belong to Funky Wiggle, who is four now. She became the fastest Illinois bred trotting filly last year with her record (1:51.1) mile and went on to be the state’s horse of the year,” continued Danny.


“I’m looking forward to “Anna” and her going at it this year. Hopefully we can give Funky Wiggle some good races.”


The aging star of the Nelson Willis Stable may be getting up there in years older, but Annas Lucky Star, a daughter of Cassis out of the Danny’s broodmare Queen Jamie, has shown time and time again she still has the desire and the ability to be very competitive at a high level, while continuing to haul in plenty of dough.


The gifted mare took home another $112,527 last year while regularly driven by Kyle Wilfong. She has now amassed $627,429 in lifetime purse earnings.  And mind you, in six unbeaten starts as a two-year-old “Anna” made a modest $36,870 since she wasn’t eligible for any of the major Chicago circuit stakes.


As far as 2024 is concerned for Annas Lucky Star, Danny will put the decision on hold for the time being. “That’s a long way off,” said Danny. “I’m thinking right now that this is her last racing season, but I’ve changed my mind about her so many times before, so let’s just wait and see how things develop.”


Queen Jamie Passes: On a sad note, Graham disclosed that his broodmare Queen Jamie, the dam of Annas Lucky Star “had to be put down last August.” Queen Jamie was 25.  “Her foals made over $1.1 million,” said Danny.


Besides Annas Lucky Star, Queen Jamie delivered Anthonyskywalker (1:54.0), $257,556), a Powerful Emotion state-bred trotter who won both Balmoral’s Cardinal and Hanover stakes in 2008 as a two-year-old for trainer Homer Hochstetler. Among others, Queen Jamie also produced Red Victor (1:55.3), Powerful Anthony (1:56.2) and Rocknprincessabbie (1:56.4).


Looking Good: ICF Aged Mare Pacer of the Year Fox Valley Exploit (Andrew McCarthy) was a first-over winner in a $12,500 conditioned pace last Saturday at Yonkers for owners Kyle Husted and David Bingham. Racing out of the barn of trainer Noel Daley, the now six-year-old Sportsmaster mare was timed in 1:52.1 on the New York half-mile track.


He’zzz A Wise Sky Gets A New Job

Illinois Champ gets some rest and takes on a new task. Read more here. http://harnessillinois.com/illinois-champ-wont-mind-second-job/


Illinois Champ Won’t Mind Second Job

By Mike Paradise


The 2022 ICF Champion Aged Horse Pacer He’zzz A Wise Sky saw his winter plans change but I’m sure the former two-time Illinois Horse of the Year doesn’t mind.


“I was going to race him throughout the winter,” said his trainer, John Filomeno. “However, I decided to give him a long rest instead. He really didn’t have a lengthy break last year and I thought he could use it.


JOHN FILOMENO. . . Trainer and co-owner of the Illinois bred standout He’zzz A Wise Sky. (Illinois County Fair Harness Racing Facebook Photo)

“Besides, the horse will have some stud duty coming up. He’ll breed to a handful of mares. In the past he didn’t seem to have any interest in being a stud but last season there were times on the racetrack he showed that he did.


“I’ve got information about breeding to He’zzz A Wise Sky on our web-site (https://triplezzzstable.com).”


Owned and bred by Triple ZZZ Stable of Beecher, Illinois, He’zzz A Wise Sky had another terrific year racing as a five-year-old, banking $202,784, no small feat for an Illinois bred pacer these days, while lowering his lifetime mark to $1.48.3


Of his 28 starts last season, 11 came in his home state of Illinois and He’zzz A Wise Sky won 10 of them, most often handicapped with the outside post. The 2020 and 2021 Illinois Harness Horse of the Year’s lone in-state loss came in the $62,000 Robert S. Molero Memorial on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions to Fox Valley Gemini, who wore the same prestigious Illinois crown in 2018 and 2019.


“He beat us in the last stride,” said his trainer. “Fox Valley Gemini is a great Illinois bred horse and he always comes up strong in the biggest ICF stakes.”


Illinois standout He’zzz A Wise Sky (Kyle Wilfong) shows his winning form. (Four Footed Foto)

Outside the prairie-state He’zzz A Wise Sky picked-up four more victories to go along with six second place finishes, and captured Opens in Ohio and Kentucky.


In his four seasons of racing, the Yankee Skyscraper pacer, out of the stable’s Four Star Shark’s homebred mare Gimmeazzzmooch, has raked in over a half million dollars ($522,315) for Triple ZZZ stable owners Donald, Joann, John and Charisse Filomeno, and David Miller and Toni Presto.


“I’ll probably try to qualify him in early April and like I’ve said in the past, I won’t over race him,” added Filomeno.


The horse has made 78 starts in four years of racing and has finished third or better in 66 of them, winning 36 times and usually against the upper echelon foes in the Midwest.


“I’m thinking about maybe taking him to Minnesota this summer for the Dan Patch at Running Aces. That’s a long way off, so we’ll see how he’s doing and make that decision later.”


Meanwhile, the Illinois pacing champion is enjoying some much-needed rest and getting ready for his new upcoming second job.