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JoyrunnerThe streak of happiness continues! JOYRUNNER, from the first crop of the sensational Gun Runner out of Dark Hollow Farm-bred stakes winner JOY, won first time out when tackling seven juvenile fillies in a maiden special weight at Indiana Grand Race Course on Thursday, July 8.

Owned by the generous James “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who purchased the chestnut filly for $145,000 as a yearling at last year’s Keeneland September sale, JOYRUNNER was also generous when giving her rivals a head start in the five and a half-furlong race! Nearly a dozen lengths back of the early leaders, the Laura Wohlers trainee began to pick up the pace heading into the far turn. Coming widest of all over the sloppy track, the blazed-faced mud-streaked filly passed one after the other, then kicked into another gear as she flew under the wire to win by one and a half lengths.

JOYRUNNER is the third foal out of JOY, and third winner! The family has been a continual source of winners for David and JoAnn Hayden for decades, as JOY (a daughter of Pure Prize) descends from Dark Hollow’s legendary foundation mare SAFELY HOME. The list of descendants reads like a Who’s Who of racing, led by Hall of Famer SAFELY KEPT.

JOY is the first foal, and first stakes winner, for the wonderful matron SAFE JOURNEY, whose six foals to race include additional stakes performers O DIONYSUS, a four-time stakes winner and earner of $452,074, and Combat Diver. JOY was a stakes winner at 3, 4 and 5, and retired with earnings of $250,544.

The family tree continues as SAFE JOURNEY is one of 14 foals out of SAFELY KEPT’s stakes-placed half-sister Safe At the Plate, who is also the dam of graded stakes-placed runners Cognac Kisses ($178,094) and Kettle Won ($113,606) and $361,313-earner Glide Home.

JOY, her half-sister FLIT, and SAFE JOURNEY all reside under the watchful eye of David, JoAnn and the crew at Dark Hollow Farm. JOY delivered a City of Light colt in April and was bred back to Grade 1 winner Gift Box, whose dam Special Me was also bred by Dark Hollow Farm. FLIT (by Not For Love) and SAFE JOURNEY didn’t have foals in 2021 but were bred back to Honor A. P. and Twirling Candy, respectively.



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