By Mike Paradise
With a Night of Champions title already on her list of accomplishments the Steve Searle stable’s Lous Abagail deserves all the attention she’ll get when the ICF three-year-old filly trot division gets under way at the Hawthorne meet.
Nevertheless let’s not forget that there’s another trotting filly racing out of the Searle’s barn that is likewise talented and also is expected to be a force when this year’s Beulah Dygert three-year-old stake series begins way and that would be the trotter Bee Cee.
She was the bridesmaid in the 2019 Fox Valley Flan final to her more heralded stable-mate, a race where Bee Cee (Kyle Husted) went off stride in the early going and still finished second, her initial outing on Lasix.
“Bee See won her final leg of the Fox Valley Flan series, but only came home in 31.2,” said Searle in an interview last September. “So we scoped her and found out she was sick. We treated her and got her cleared up and put her on Lasix for the Night of Champions.
Unfortunately for the owners of Bee Cee the filly had a costly mishap on the Night of Champions. She was hustled out to get early position and was second over in the first turn when she appeared to “run into” the horse in front of her, going off-stride and losing about six lengths in the process.
“Bee Cee really did well to come back and finish second for us,” said Searle, who shares ownership of the filly with Molly Baldes (Urbana, Illinois), Michael Paloma (Chicago) and Chris Paloma (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Last year Bee Cee and Lous Abagail didn’t meet in any of the Fox Valley Flan series until the championship. They did tangle last summer in the Illinois Stallion Stakes at Mount Sterling and in the Shawnee at Du Quoin with “Crabby Abby” coming out on top in both. Conversely in the Springfield State Fair Final it was Bee Cee besting her stable-mate.
“Bee Cee was a tall two-year-old and she got even taller over the winter,” said Searle. “She filled out and she’s a very athletic type horse.”
Both fillies had similar first season records with Bee Cee winning 5 of 10 starts and Abagail successful in 7 of her 10 races. They each won a division of the Violet and at least one Fox Valley Flan series leg, however the similarly ends there.
“Last year Bee See was like a big awkward kid out there. Unlike Lous Abagail who wants to be left alone, Bee Cee looks for attention. She wants to be petted and will nuzzle right up to you. She’s a happy gal about 95 per cent of the time. I said 95 per cent because once in a while she’ll try to bite you in the back,” said a laughing Searle.
“Both of my fillies enjoy each other. They’ll run around outside and play together,” Steve added.
When Searle’s prize trotting fillies aren’t horsing around, they are preparing for Hawthorne’s delayed first leg of Beulah Dygert stake series, and whenever that will take place is anybody’s guess.
Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later. We need to race . . . and I badly need a haircut.
Track’s Opening Update: Racing in Ohio begins this upcoming Friday (May 22) at Scioto Downs. Racetracks in New York have been given the okay to begin racing on June 1. Hoosier Park will start its meet on June 16. In Canada, Mohawk Raceway gets under way on June 5.
If you’re bored while live racing at Hawthorne is not available at this time why not get some action by supporting the Illinois horsemen when you wager through the Hawthorne Club app. Clubhawthorne.com is the only current source of income for purse generation during this Coronavirus shutdown.
Additional information is at Hawthorneracecourse.com