The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Stacy Chiodo has always felt a whole lotta love for Whole Lotta Lou, so it’s been gratifying for the trainer to see the 5-year-old pacer enjoy a breakout season in 2023.

Whole Lotta Lou already has set career highs this year for wins, with five, and purses, with $49,420, while climbing the class ladder at The Meadowlands. During a five-race span from late February through late March, Whole Lotta Lou posted four victories and a second (missing by a neck) in conditioned races to advance to the Open level at The Big M.

In his first start in the Open 2/Open 1 Handicap on April 8, Whole Lotta Lou and driver David Miller appeared poised to hit the board, but traffic trouble in the stretch resulted in a sixth-place finish. The following week, he was fifth with driver Jordan Stratton despite a race-best :26 last quarter as he charged home from eighth and was beaten by 2-1/2 lengths.

“He’s kind of been locked in late but he’s been finishing with plenty of pace,” Chiodo said. “In the start that Dave drove him, he said that if he got out, he probably would have won again. Jordan really liked him a lot two weekends ago. I think he can go with them, it’s just a matter of what kind of racing luck you’re going to get.”

Whole Lotta Lou and Stratton will reunite Saturday in the $24,500 Open for 4- and 5-year-old pacers at The Meadowlands. Whole Lotta Lou was entered in the same event last weekend but saw his start wiped out when the track had to cancel racing midway through the card as the result of severe weather.

“I really thought he was sharp going into last week,” Chiodo said. “He’s been on a little bit of a roll lately, and it’s hard to keep them sharp, but so far so good. He trained really good (Wednesday) going into Saturday. I’m expecting a good race.”

Whole Lotta Lou is a son of Sweet Lou-Ideal Love. He was purchased as a yearling for $50,000 at the 2019 Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Timothy Tobias Stable. He is a full brother to Six Feet Apart, who was a Grand Circuit winner and Kentucky Commonwealth Series champ at age 2 in 2021. His family also includes 2014 Jugette runner-up Beautiful Lady.

As a 2-year-old, Whole Lotta Lou raced only twice, finishing third in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania All-Stars.

“The owner likes to be very conservative with his (young horses) so he figured it was best to let him mature and come back as a 3-year-old,” Chiodo said. “He showed me a lot of ability as a 2-year-old. I always felt that he was going to be one of the nicer horses that we trained. I’m glad he’s made it up the ranks to prove himself a little bit.”

For his career, Whole Lotta Lou has won 11 of 45 races and earned $138,685. Chiodo began racing the horse with an open bridle in February, which she said helped fuel his ascent at The Meadowlands.

“It seemed to be the difference,” Chiodo said. “I always thought he was a nice horse. I like his whole demeaner, his personality; he’s just a lazy, sweet horse, to be around. He’s lazy on the track, but when it’s time to do his job, he’s all business.

“He’s been one of my favorites since we got him.”

On Saturday, Whole Lotta Lou will start from post three in a six-horse field and is 10-1 on the morning line. Lou’s Pearlman is the 9-5 favorite, followed by Red Right Hand at 2-1 and Southwind Gendry at 5-2. Hammering Hank, who won the Kindergarten Classic Series in 2021 but missed most of last year because of injury, is also among the group as he makes his seasonal debut.

“It will be interesting,” Chiodo said. “A lot of luck will be involved, but that’s with all of horseracing. I just want him to perform respectably. It’s exciting to be in these races.”

Saturday’s Meadowlands card will be featured on “America’s Day at the Races,” which airs from 6-11 p.m. (EDT). The show will be on FS1 until 9 p.m., then switch to FS2.

The card also includes the $30,000 New Jersey Breeders Maturity final for 4-year-old female pacers, featuring past Dan Patch Award-winners Niki Hill and Treacherous Dragon, as well as the seasonal debut of another former Dan Patch Award honoree, Amigo Volo, in the $40,000 Open Trot.

Racing at The Meadowlands begins at 6:20 p.m. Free TrackMaster programs for the Big M can be found here.

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *