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David and JoAnn Hayden have always had faith in the family of Mystic Dance, a member of the marvelous Christiana Stables’ family descending from Obeah. Now rewarding the faith is ELLANATION, a 5-year-old granddaughter of Mystic Dance who recorded her first stakes win in Dark Hollow Farm's colors when getting up in time to take the $75,000 Jameela on Pimlico’s Independence Day holiday program.

To get there has been quite the journey!

Dark Hollow Farm-bred (or co-bred) stakes winners Chancellor M. H. and Dance Fee, plus four additional winners, from six starters out of Mystic Dance. One of Mystic Dance’s two daughters, Memories of Mystic, later joined the Dark Hollow broodmare band. Memories of Mystic soon produced Mystic Love, winner of the Selima Stakes at 2 in 2012 and Maryland-bred divisional champion, and then Bridget’s Big Luvy, winner of the Private Terms Stakes at 3 in 2015.

ELLANATION, a daughter of Alternation, was born in March 2016, and later that year the Haydens made the tough decision to sell Memories of Mystic. The multiple stakes-producer, in foal to Bodemeister, was bought by Korean interests at Keeneland November for $100,000. Her Alternation weanling daughter sold at the same sale for $32,000. In April 2018 at Ocala, the 2-year-old ELLANATION was working great, and the Haydens went to Florida to buy her back. But when bidding reached $160,000, the filly joined Loudmouth Racing stable.

Fast-forward nearly two years. After 11 starts, three wins and five placings, Mystic Dance’s granddaughter was ready to move on from her current connections. “She needed to have chips taken out of her knee,” noted David Hayden. “And they weren’t looking to keep her as a broodmare.”

The Haydens eagerly bought her back, had the surgery performed, gave her lots of time at the farm, sent her for swimming rehab, and then to trainer Mike Trombetta. More than a year after her last start, ELLANATION returned to the races in April. “She’s faced tough competition,” noted Hayden. “She’d been very competitive.”

The Jameela is her first win since December 2019 at Woodbine. With Victor Carrasco up, she covered the five furlongs over a good turf in :58.59.

“Mike said she was doing really well, so that’s how she ended up in the race,” noted Hayden. “We love the family, we love her, so we’re very, very excited and thrilled now, I can tell you.”

With her best running on the grass, the Haydens hope to keep her in training as long as she’s competitive. “When we bought her back it was with the intention to give her a chance to race again," said Hayden. "And we would have loved to get her stakes-placed. This is the cherry on top, the icing on the cake.”