True Timber Relishes the Slop in Cigar Mile Romp

True Timber | Sarah Andrew

True Timber (Mineshaft) has been knocking at the door of a Grade I win throughout his career, including in-the-money finishes in the last two renewals of the GI Cigar Mile H. The Calumet Farm runner broke through at the highest level in a big way at Aqueduct Saturday, romping in the mud to take this year's edition of the prestigious Cigar Mile.

With his last victory coming in a Belmont optional claimer in September of 2018, True Timber was overlooked at 7-1 in this event, which lost three contenders Saturday morning due to track condition, including second-choice Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior). Racing two-wide, the bay stalked from third as come-backing sophomore King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) and hard-knocking New York-bred Mr. Buff (Friend of Foe) battled through a :22.89 first quarter. Mr. Buff edged ahead of his younger foe through a half in :45.82 with True Timber maintaining his position in third and favored Performer (Speightstown) trailing the field.

Ranging up outside the top two approaching the far turn, True Timber turned for home in front and splashed clear of the field in the lane under confident handling from Kendrick Carmouche to pull off the upset by 5 1/2 lengths. Snapper Sinclair (City Zip), a 13-1 shot, completed the exacta and Performer got up for third.

“I've got to give credit to True Timber, the farm, the incredible staff I have, and of course Kendrick [Carmouche],” said winning trainer Jack Sisterson. “I had all the confidence in the world when Kendrick texted me, 'I got you brother, don't worry', with a little peace sign.”

He continued, “As soon as I got the horse [this spring], the Cigar Mile was a year-end goal. A lot of emphasis has to be put on how good a trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is. He had this horse before I did and had him sent him to me in such good shape. This really shows how good of a trainer he really is.”

The Cigar Mile was the first Grade I score for the popular Carmouche, who currently sits atop the fall meet standings with one day left in the meet.

“I owe it all to my fans, my wife and kids and how much they stuck with me and kept me pushing and fighting in this game,” said Carmouche. “This means so much to me. This is the biggest win of my career and I hope I have many more blessed ones.”

As for his trip aboard True Timber, Carmouche said. “We got an outside position this time with the horse being inside the last two times that I rode him at Saratoga and Belmont. I was very pleased with the draw we got and we had a couple scratches because of the sloppy track. I had perfect position leaving the gate and all the way around there. Right before we got to the quarter pole, I pulled the trigger and I knew they were going to have to run me down from here.”

Second in the 2018 Cigar Mile and third to champion Maximum Security (New Year's Day) in last year's edition, True Timber kicked off 2020 with an eighth-place finish in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. Jan. 25 and was fourth in the GII Gulfstream Park Mile Feb. 29. Transferred to Sisterson after McLaughlin retired from training to take the book of jockey Luis Saez Apr. 1, the 6-year-old was third behind subsequent MGSW C Z Rocket (City Zip) when cut back to a sprint distance in a Keeneland optional claimer July 12. Completing the trifecta in a sloppy renewal of Saratoga's GI Forego S. Aug. 29, True Timber was fourth to Firenze Fire in Belmont's GII Vosburgh Invitational S. Sept. 26 and was second in the Lafayette S. at Keeneland on Breeders' Cup Saturday Nov. 7.

Pedigree Notes:

True Timber is the seventh Grade I winner, 22nd graded victor and 52nd black-type scorer for Mineshaft, who, along with Honor Code, looks to carry on the legacy of his legendary late sire A.P. Indy at Lane's End. The winner's dam Queen's Wood (Tiznow) was purchased by Haymarket Farm for $47,000 in foal to Quality Road at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale as part of the complete dispersal of VinMar Farm LLC. The resulting foal is the now-3-year-old gelding Motown Music, a $250,000 KEESEP acquisition by China Horse Club and WinStar Farm, who won two of his three starts this year. Her unraced juvenile colt by Into Mischief was purchased by the same connections for $560,000 at KEESEP and is named Floodgate. Queen's Wood did not have a foal in 2019 and aborted her Malibu Moon foal this year. The 12-year-old mare was bred back to Omaha Beach earlier this term. True Timber hails from the family of MGISW stallion Pleasantly Perfect (Pleasant Colony); European champion Elusive Kate (Elusive Quality); and Group 1-winning sire Distant View (Mr. Prospector).

Saturday, Aqueduct
CIGAR MILE H.-GI, $250,000, Aqueduct, 12-5, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:36.49, sy.
1–TRUE TIMBER, 119, h, 6, by Mineshaft
1st Dam: Queen's Wood, by Tiznow
2nd Dam: Salon Prive, by Private Account
3rd Dam: La Trinite (Fr), by Lyphard
WIN. ($170,000 Wlg '14 KEENOV). O-Calumet Farm; B-Mr. &
Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell (KY); T-Jack Sisterson; J-Kendrick
Carmouche. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 29-5-5-9, $1,215,150.
Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Snapper Sinclair, 117, h, 5, City Zip–True Addiction, by Yes
It's True. ($30,000 Ylg '16 KEESEP; $180,000 2yo '17 OBSAPR).
O-Bloom Racing Stable LLC (Jeffrey Bloom); B-K & G Stables
(KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $50,000.
3–Performer, 118, c, 4, Speightstown–Protesting, by A.P. Indy.
O-Phipps Stable & Claiborne Farm; B-Phipps Stable (KY);
T-Claude R. McGaughey III. $30,000.
Margins: 5HF, NK, 6HF. Odds: 7.30, 13.40, 0.85.
Also Ran: King Guillermo, Mr. Buff, Bon Raison. Scratched: Firenze Fire, Majestic Dunhill, Mind Control.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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