By Mike Paradise
The old idiom “Who Would Have Thought” had to be running though the minds of those who remember the 2019 Illinois Harness Horse of the Year Louzotic when the filly trotter was a yearling.
The talented filly’s trainer Steve Searle definitely felt that way.
“Louzotic was the little filly that nobody wanted” recalled the veteran Illinois based horseman. “Her breeder (Flacco Family Farms) wanted to sell her for $10,000 for but no one at sale would pay that price for such a little ICF filly trotter.”
So Flacco Family Farms kept Louzotic and turned her over to Searle, the longtime Grant Park, Illinois horseman, to hopefully develop her into a competitive race horse.
It would be suffice to say that Louzotic as exceeded all expectations of both her owners and conditioner.
In her second racing season the homebred Lou’s Legacy filly out of the Vaporize broodmare Fox Valley Lexus would be crowned the Standardbred Queen of Illinois after a sophomore campaign that saw her dominate the 3-year-old ICF filly trotting division, winning 11 of 15 season starts, including the $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Final on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions with driver Kyle Husted, while amassing $96,279 for her Alexis, Illinois owners.
As a freshman Louzotic was also revered at the USTA District 5 Awards Banquet in Springfield as the 2018 Illinois Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year with a dazzling first season, notching 7 wins in 11 starts, banking over $96,000 and capturing the $122,504 Fox Valley Flan Championship on Hawthorne’s “Super Night.”
“When we were first teaching her to trot at a farm where other horses were training Louzotic would go in into a gallop every time another horse would pass her,” recalled Searle. “I told our second trainer Jim Molitor just let her go. One day her gallop could turn into a trot and that’s just what happened. From then on she just got better and better.”
Searle plans to race Louzotic “as much as possible in Illinois” as a four-year-old.
Louzotic wasn’t the only Searle filly trained trotter to be feted at Decmber’s USTA 5 District banquet. Louzotic’s stable-mate Lous Abigail earned the 2019 ICF freshman filly trot award after she posted seven victories and a trio of seconds in 10 trips postward for Flacco Family Farms.
Lous Abigail’s victory in the $82,000 Fox Valley Flan over stable-mate Bee See gave Searle the one-two finishers in the division’s most prestigious stake event of the year.
Other 2019 Illinois Divisional Champions were: Fox Valley Ren in the 2-year-old colt pace, Fox Valley Exploit in the 2-year-old filly pace, Fox Valley Triton in the 3-year-old colt pace, Fox Valley Torrid in the 3-year-old filly pace, Fox Valley Gemini as the Aged Pacing Horse, Allbeastnobeauty as the Aged Pacing mare and LR Dancing Dream and as the Pacing Broodmare.
Besides Louzotic and Fox Valley Abigail other trotters honored included Fox Valley Quest in the 2-year-old colt trot, Lourhianon in the 3-year-old colt trot, Lougazi as the Aged Trotting Colt and Anna’s Lucky Star as the Aged Trotting Mare. The Trotting Broodmare award went to Tropical Trixie.
Sportsmaster was named the state’s premier pacing sire while Lou’s Legacy captured the trotting sire award.