Olympio, whose name was synonymous with “Derby” in 1991, recently died of a ruptured aorta at Ellen Jackson’s Victory Rose Thoroughbreds near Vacaville, Calif. The son of Naskra was 23.
Olympio was bred in Kentucky by Verne H. Winchell and produced from Winchell’s blue hen mare Carols Christmas, by Whitesburg. Campaigned by Winchell’s VHW Stables and trained by Ron McAnally, Olympio won four Derbys his 3-year-old season. He started out winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park in the spring. Withheld from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Olympio won the Minnesota Derby (gr. II) in track-record time at Canterbury Downs and the American Derby (gr. II) at Arlington International Racecourse in consecutive starts that summer. After finishing second in the Super Derby (gr. I) at Louisiana Downs in September, he captured the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) in November in just his second start on grass. His four Derby wins were reminiscent of the four Derby wins by 1924 Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold.
During his career, Olympio finished first or second in 13 of 17 starts and earned $1,456,31.
Olympio began his stallion career at Payson Stud in Kentucky and later stood at E.G. High Desert Farms and Hideaway Farms, both in California, before his years at Victory Rose.
Olympio has proved successful as a stallion, siring 30 stakes winners including graded winners Deep Gold, Olympic Charmer, and Olympian and the earners of more than $18.8 million.
His success as a broodmare sire is even more pronounced. Olympio is the broodmare sire of French champion Carlotamix, Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) winner Lion Tamer, Japan Dirt Derby (Jpn-I) winner Cafe Olympus, and graded winners Anew, Charm the Giant, High Again, and Society’s Chairman.