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.
Popizar kicked away through an opening quarter of :22.81, as O Dionysus started to make a dynamic move from the back. The field rounded the far turn with Popizar extending his lead and O Dionysus moving seven-wide and taking aim for the run down the stretch. O Dionysus gained with every stride, surged past Popizar near the sixteenth marker and continued to widen to win by two and three-quarters lengths. Popizar finished strongly - it was nearly another four lengths back to the third-place finisher. Final time for five furlongs was :58.86 as the exacta paid $69.
Trained by Gary Capuano, O Dionysus is a the third winner for his young dam Safe Journey, whose two earlier runners are stakes winner Joy and stakes-placed Combat Diver. The family traces in direct female line back to Dark Hollow foundation mare, Maryland Broodmare of the Year Safely Home (the colt’s third dam).
Popizar is the third foal out of the young mare Popeye’s Lady, a half-sister to Dark Hollow Farm-bred Grade 1 winner and Maryland-bred champion Poseidon’s Warrior. Popizar was sold by Dark Hollow at the same Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sale as O Dionysus, bringing $72,000. Purchased at the Fasig-Tipton May 2-year-old sale by trainer Richard Vega, the colt races for McFalcingham LLC.
One week earlier, Popeye’s Lady’s 4-year-old daughter Extol broke her maiden in the colors of Dark Hollow Farm, holding off Hillwood Stable’s Cherished Prize to win by just under a length going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. The Flatter filly trained by Phil Schoenthal is the first foal for her dam. A daughter of Forest Wildcat, Popeye’s Lady is one of eight winners from as many runners for Maryland Broodmare of the Year Poised to Pounce, who in addition to producing Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap-G1 winner Poseidon’s Warrior, is also the dam of Maryland Million Classic winner Play Bingo, stakes winner Quick ’n Smart and stakes-placed Rhythmn Master.
Cherished Prize, Dark Hollow Farm’s Maryland Horse Breeders Association yearling show champion of 2014, is a daughter of Pure Prize out of graded stakes winner and Maryland-bred champion He Loves Me (by Not For Love). Hillwood Stable purchased the filly as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall sale for $200,000, making her the highest priced filly of the sale. The Dark Hollow Farm exacta on Aug. 13 returned $56.