Shadwell Stable's Daaher, brilliant winner of last year's Cigar Mile (gr. I), has been retired from racing due to ligament injuries and will enter stud for the 2008 season at Shadwell's Nashwan Stud.
Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager of Shadwell Farm, said that the decision was made to retire the 4-year-old Daaher after scintigraphy revealed torn and injured ligaments in his right front ankle. The colt had most recently finished third as a heavy favorite in the March 1 Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct.
"He lugged in the last half of that race pretty severely," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We had to think something was bothering him. There was no inflammation or heat in the ankle, but further tests diagnosed the problem."
After an impressive Belmont Park maiden win last year, Daaher took on Canada's top 3-year-olds, finishing on the board in both the Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes. He then posted an eye-popping 13 3/4-length win in an allowance race at Saratoga and won Belmont's Jerome Handicap (gr. II) in front-running style. Daaher would prove himself a top miler by winning the Cigar over older horses, including subsequent champion sprinter Midnight Lute.
Purchased by Shadwell from the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale, Daaher (Awesome Again -Irish Cherry, by Irish Open) is a full brother to multiple grade I winner Spun Sugar. Their dam, a stakes winner of six races, sold for $800,000 at the 2006 Keeneland November sale.
"Daaher has natural speed and was most effective at a mile. He is an outstanding looking horse, and he has a pedigree that completes the package," said Nichols. "We are sad to see Daaher's racing career cut short, but his career at stud has a tremendous upside."
Daaher will stand for $30,000 live foal. For more information contact Kent Barnes at Nashwan Stud, (859) 224-4585.