The handsome Bodemeister colt O Dionysus, campaigned by Peter G. Angelos’ Marathon Farms, got his first win of the year in the $75,000 Miracle Wood Saturday, Feb. 18 at Laurel Park, and did it with aplomb, striding home a three-length winner as the 4-5 favorite in the field of eight. The Dark Hollow Farm-bred colt was making his fifth consecutive stakes start, and recorded his second stakes win, having captured the $75,000 Christopher Elser Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing in November.
Two of O Dionysus’ efforts between the wins were second-place finishes in the Marylander Stakes in his final start at 2 on December 31, and Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes three weeks later. The Marylander was a sensational effort against one of the leaders of the sophomore class, Irish War Cry. The two battled from the far turn to the wire, with a nose separating them at the finish. In his next start, Irish War Cry won the Holy Bull Stakes-G2 at Gulfstream Park over a field that included last year’s champion juvenile Classic Empire and multiple graded winner Gunnevera.
Making a dramatic move heading into the far turn, O Dionysus drew off to his first stakes win in his stakes debut, taking the $75,000 Christopher Elser Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing on Nov. 12. Among those he flew by was multiple stakes winner Greatbullsoffire.
The 2-year-old Gary Capuano trainee was last early before making his move. The big-striding colt went on to win by two and a quarter lengths, completing the six and a half furlongs in 1:18.19. It was the second win in four starts for the handsome bay, and he becomes the second stakes winner for top-five freshman sire Bodemeister.
The fourth race on Aug. 20 for 2-year-olds saw the debut of the most expensive yearling colt sold at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale, a Dark Hollow Farm-bred son of Bodemeister purchased by Peter G. Angelos for $190,000. The striking bay now named O Dionysus, who bears a strong likeness to his sire, went off as favorite in the field of 11 and made it extra exciting for his backers. Warming up on the way to the gate, O Dionysus ran off with his rider for nearly furlong. When the race finally went off, he broke a bit slow and was lengths behind the early leader, Dark Hollow Farm-bred Popizar.
Class shown through in Fly’s 2-year-old debut. Trained by Phil Schoenthal for partners David and JoAnn Hayden’s Dark Hollow Farm, Arnold and Susie Davidov, Cal MacWilliam, Neil Teitelbaum, Rick Wallace and Kingdom Bloodstock, the filly faced nine others in the five and a half-furlong maiden special weight over the Laurel turf course on Aug. 5.
She broke well from her inside post, held her position along the rail, just behind odds-on choice and early leader Consulting, made a move to the outside rounding the turn and battled to the finish. Stride for stride the two fillies ran as they reached for the wire, in the end Fly proving stronger as she pulled away to win by a half length.
The first winner for her freshman sire, the recently deceased Brilliant Speed, Fly is out of Storm Cat’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 champion Desert Stormer.
For the third year in a row a yearling from the Dark Hollow Farm consignment was one of the top prices at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale, this year held Tuesday, Oct. 6 in Timonium.
A handsome bay colt, the spitting image of his sire Bodemeister out of Safe Journey, representing three generations of stars bred by Dark Hollow Farm, was this year’s top-priced colt, selling for $190,000 to Peter G. Angelos. He is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Joy, winner this summer of Laurel’s All Brandy Stakes, and current stakes-placed 3-year-old Combat Diver, the first two foals to race out of their dam.
The family has been a stakes treasure trove, descending from Dark Hollow Farm foundation mare Safely Home, the colt’s third dam. Safe Journey, a daughter of Flatter, is one of nine winners for stakes-placed Safe At the Plate, who also produced graded stakes performers Kettle Won and Cognac Kisses. Safe Journey’s half-sister Kettle’s Sister is the dam of graded stakes winner Vinceremos.
David & JoAnn Hayden 16123 Dark Hollow Rd Upperco, Maryland 21155
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