Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile H. (gr. I)

(gr. I , 8f ,)

DAAHER (B h, 114 lb) $180,000
Awesome Again —Irish Cherry , by Irish Open
B—Dagmar Schwabe, ON.; O—Shadwell Stable; T—Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Midnight Lute (DK B/ h, 123 lb) $60,000
Real Quiet —Candytuft , by Dehere
B—Marjac Farms, KY.; O—Watson and Weitman Performances, LLC and Pegram, Michael E.; T—Bob Baffert

Naughty New Yorker (B h, 114 lb) $30,000
Quiet American —Naughty Natisha , by Known Fact
B—Dr. Joan M. Taylor, NY.; O—Fox Ridge Farm, Inc.; T—Patrick J. Kelly

Margins: 2½, 4¼, 4¼. Others: Xchanger 116($15,000) , Sir Greeley 116($9,000) . Winning Jockey, Michael J. Luzzi.

It was a double dose of publicity for John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms. The Nov. 24 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct, sponsored by Hill ‘n’ Dale, was won by a colt that Hill n’ Dale consigned as agent to the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Daaher, who was purchased at that sale for $375,000 by Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell, turned in an impressive performance in the Cigar Mile for the sheikh’s Shadwell Stable. The 2-1 second choice, he defeated 1-2 favorite Midnight Lute, who had won the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) last time out. Daaher got out to an early lead and beat Midnight Lute by 21/2 lengths while in receipt of nine pounds.

The victory was the third straight for the Canadian-bred runner, who was unraced at 2, and the performance was good enough for one of the year’s highest Beyer Speed Figures, a 114. Daaher started his win streak with a 133/4-length score at Saratoga, and then won the Oct. 7 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Daaher was bred in Canada by Yvonne Schwabe and her mother, Dagmar, owners of Persley Den Farms near Acton, Ontario. Josham Farms, a Canadian outfit, bought Daaher’s dam, Irish Cherry, for the two women for $80,000 at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs sale of broodmares at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky in the fall of 2002. Irish Cherry was in foal to Adena Springs stallion Wild Rush, and the purchase came with a season to another Adena Springs stallion, Awesome Again. After foaling a Wild Rush colt, later named Press Gently, in 2003, Irish Cherry was bred to Awesome Again. It was that mating that produced Daaher.

Daaher is the second stakes winner from Irish Cherry. The first, Spun Sugar, won last year’s Apple Blossom (gr. I) and Go for Wand (gr. I) Handicaps.

Spun Sugar was one of the most sought after mares at this year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale. In foal to A.P. Indy, she was bought by Shadwell for $4.5 million from Hidden Brook Farm, agent for Adena Springs.

Irish Cherry no longer is owned by the Schwabes. She was consigned in foal to Storm Cat by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency to the 2006 Keeneland November sale and was purchased for $800,000 by Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock, agent. She produced a Storm Cat colt this year for Pierre and Leslie Amestoy and Mike Abraham.

Awesome Again has sired 25 stakes winners. His 11 stakes winners of 2007 also include grade I winners Sugar Shake and Ginger Punch, who won the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). Awesome Again stands at Adena Springs Kentucky near Paris. His 2008 fee, $150,000, is the same as it was in 2007.—D.S.