The third time proved the charm for True Timber in the prestigious Cigar Mile (G1) on Dec. 5. After a runner-up effort in the race in 2018 and a third-place finish in 2019, the Kentucky-bred son of Mineshaft powered home a 5 ½-length winner in the 32nd edition of the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Saturday.

The sloppy and sealed main track agreed with True Timber. He broke sharply for jockey Kendrick Carmouche and tracked the early pace of Mr. Buff. Heading into the stretch, Carmouche asked his mount for more and True Timber responded gamely. He grabbed the lead and kicked clear in the stretch, comfortably holding at bay late rallies from fellow Kentucky-breds Snapper Sinclair and Performer to hold sway, stopping the timer in 1:36.49.

True Timber’s win also provided Carmouche the initial Grade 1 victory of his 20-year riding career and it was the second Grade 1 win for trainer Jack Sisterson who took over training True Timber following the retirement of Kiaran McLaughlin.

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

True Timber is a 6-year-old son of Mineshaft out of the Tiznow mare Queen Wood. Owned by Calumet Farm, True Timber, who hails from the female family of Pleasantly Perfect, was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Marc C. Farrell. His win in the Cigar Mile improved his record to 29-5-5-9 and increased his earnings to more than $1.2 million.