Lous Private Eye looks to mimic his brother

Hinsdale, IL — Brother or sister comparisons have been an integral part of harness racing since the sport has been around. Sometimes a horse reaches or exceeds the lofty credentials of an older sibling, more often they don’t.

The trotter Lous Private Eye from the barn of veteran horseman Steve Searle will take a giant stride towards following in the hoof steps of his older full brother Lousdobb, a two-time ICF champion, when he will be honored Saturday as the 2023 Illinois 2-Year-Old Male Trotter of the Year at the state’s Standardbred Horsemen banquet in Springfield.

The Steve Searle trained Lous Private Eye will be honored Saturday as the 2023 Illinois 2-Year-Old Male Trotter of the Year. Four Footed Fotos.

Lous Private Eye didn’t start off his freshman racing campaign like a future trotting champion, however as the season went along the son of the outstanding Illinois sire Lou’s Legacy produced the credentials to secure the prestigious honor.

Lous Private Eye didn’t make his debut until the first week of July, a third-place finish at Springfield with his regular driver Casey Leonard. The young trotter went his next two outings without a victory before an impressive win in the $14,470 Downstate Classic at Mt Sterling where he set a 2-year-old trotting record (2:02.4) on a half-mile fair track that was listed as ‘good.’

Three weeks later, the son of the very successful Flacco Family Farms broodmare Bands One Eye Love captured his $25,000 Governor’s Cup stake at the Du Quoin State Fair in 1:58.2 with a :28.2 final quarter, facilitating his connections to set their sights on the division’s richest and most coveted ICF stake event, the $121,000 Kadabra on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions.

Lous Private Eye showed readiness for the mid-October Kadabra championship with a strong winning performance in the series’ final leg, proving best by 2-1/4 lengths. A week later in the championship, he came from sixth at the half, almost six lengths behind, to win by more than three lengths in a season’s best time of 1:58.

Last summer Searle told us he thought Lous Private Eye could be a good horse. Is the long-time Illinois trainer even more optimistic on his young trotter for his second season?

“Yes,” answered Searle. “He’s come along very well. There were a couple of times last year after he won a race that Casey told me ‘He’s got more in him.’

“I’ve started back with him in February. I’m old school. My dad drilled in me that a horse coming back needs to get mileage on him so later in the year he’ll be fit to go faster later on. A week ago, I went a slow 2:50 with ‘Private Eye.’ When the time comes to race him, he’ll be ready.

“I’m fortunate to have an owner like Flacco Family Farms who lets me take my time with their trotters and I have a smart and patient driver in Casey. There’s no need to rush them. I shoot to have my horses ready when August rolls around.”

Searle also revealed that he also has yet another sibling of Lous Private Eye and Lousdobb.

“Her name is Lous Night Vision. She’s another sired by Lou’s Legacy out of the same broodmare. I’ve gone in 2:45 with her and she trots just like her brothers with her head down and all business on the track.

“It’s very early in her career but it looks like she has pretty good talent. After about six weeks you can usually tell which of your young trotters have talent, and which ones don’t.”

Lous Private Eye generated just short of $100,000 in purse money, winning four of his 10 starts to go along with a quartet of third place finishes for Flacco Family Farms, his owner and breeder.

Similarly, his brother Lousdobb captured four of 10 outings as a freshman, to go along with one second and three thirds, while banking $80,771 for co-owners Flacco Family Farms and All-Wright Racing. At three, Lousdobb had a sparkling record of nine wins in 13 races and hauled in over $117,000 in purse money.

Will his younger brother be as successful? Time will tell.

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