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It is with great sadness that Hochstetler Racing relays prolific broodmare and Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Famer Quillo has been euthanized at Last Hurrah Stables after ongoing health complications at the age of 23. The daughter of Trottin’ Happy and Arsenal’s Dynasty notably produced the great racehorse and sire Kadabra ($1,806,779, 1:51.3) as well as the Illinois champion Lifes A Holiday ($721,659, 1:54.0). From 10 foals of racing age, Quillo’s offspring amassed over $2.8 million in earnings and over 100 victories. Quillo was bred by Homer Miller and Dennis Yoder. She was a $10,000 yearling purchase in 1994 by the great harness racing ambassador Beulah Dygert. Quillo never raced after she suffered a career-ending fall at Maywood Park. Following health complications, Beulah Dygert gifted Quillo to the Hochstetler family. The gift turned into a life changing moment for Connie and Homer Hochstetler as Lifes A Holiday and Kadabra brought the racing stable to new heights. Both of the sons of Quillo are Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Famers. “Quillo was the most precious gift we have ever received. She truly changed our lives, and Quillo has altered the course of harness racing with her offspring. We are very blessed to have had her in our lives,” said Connie Hochstetler. Quillo’s final offspring is a yearling RC Royalty named Lady Rapidash, named after a Pokemon just like the great Kadabra. Jay Hochstetler, Hochstetler Racing  

Vernon, N.Y. -- Employing a tracking trip through much of the mile, Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($12.20) reached late to nose out even-money favorite All Charged Up in Thursday (August 4) evening's harness racing  featured $8,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   Jimmy Whittemore floated forward with the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare to take third in the initial stages, drafting behind Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) and Super Soph (Chris Lems) through early splits of :26.2 and :55.3. On the far turn, Southern Girl found herself locked in, as All Charged Up (John MacDonald) commenced a first-over rally on approach to the quarter pole. Whittemore worked Southern Girl second-over upon cornering, and the pair ultimately swung three-wide as All Charged Up took command at the eighth pole. Southern Girl dueled strongly off cover to prevail by a hard-fought nose in 1:51. Looney Dune, the early pacesetter, was a worn-down third.   Homer Hochstetler trains Southern Girl, now an 11-time winner.   The evening's sub-featured $5,500 Miracle Mile pace for distaffers saw Embassy Seelster ($2.70) control all the terms and edge clear to a two-length victory over Jinxy's Delight in 1:51.2. Fern Paquet, Jr. drove the 6-year-old Modern Art mare for trainer Allie Berube.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 5) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($9.00) earned her fourth win in five starts in the harness racing featured $7,500 Mares Miracle Mile Pace on Thursday (June 23) evening at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems wasted no time with the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare, posting a :26.4 first quarter to clear Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) and Looney Dune (Ben McNeil). Southern Girl controlled the pace through middle splits of :56.3 and 1:25, beginning to accelerate clear of her five rivals with a quarter mile remaining. She was kept to task as she sped up through a :27.2 closing frame, amassing enough clearance in upper stretch to hold clear of the late-rallying odds-on favorite All Charged Up (John MacDonald) by 1-3/4 lengths for a 1:52.2 win. The Filly Princess (Andy Gardner) held third after sustaining mild first-over gains.   Homer Hochstetler trains Southern Girl, now a nine-time winner. For Lems, the featured win was one of three on the nine-race card, as he also teamed up with Patton ($2.80, 1:59.3) and Royal Promise ($7.00, 1:59).   No one hit the 50¢ Pick 5, resulting in a carryover of $578.25 to Friday's (June 24) card. The first of 11 races at the Miracle Mile is slated for 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($12.80) is back in form, having earned her third win in four starts in Friday (June 17) evening's harness racing $7,500 top-level Miracle Mile distaff pace at Vernon Downs.   John MacDonald sent the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare directly to the front, sprinting clear of Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) before rating a :56.1 first half. On approach to the far turn, Southern Girl accelerated, forcing the first-over Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) and the pocket-sitting Looney Dune to chase a :27.1 third quarter. They nearly collared Southern Girl in the end, but the pacesetter dug in to narrowly hold sway in 1:52.1, staving off a resurgent Looney Dune by a neck in the end. Love Live Laugh stayed on for third as the 6-5 favorite.   Homer Hochstetler trains Southern Girl, who earned her eighth career win.   For MacDonald, the featured win was one of three on the night. Jimmy Whittemore also notched a driving hat trick on the 11-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 18) evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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