Courtier gave his leading Third-Crop sire Pioneerof the Nile his fourth stakes winner of the year on Wednesday night with a rousing 1 ¼-length victory in the $200,000 Centaur S. at Indiana Grand.
Left near the back of the nine-horse field in the early stages, Courtier was still more than a dozen lengths off the lead with a half mile to run. Entering the far turn, the 3-year-old colt accelerated suddenly, closing quickly along the rail then swinging five-wide entering the stretch to roll by the leaders.
Full of run in the straightway, Courtier came home powerfully to get the one mile on the firm turf in 1:35.74 (VIDEO
“He (Courtier) broke on the outside (post 9) and was a little slow (early) today,” said Rosario. “He was nice and comfortable, so I didn’t want to pressure him. He responded and he got the job done. He’s a very nice horse and I want to thank all the connections for letting me ride.”
“He (Courtier) was lathered a little before the race, but that’s always been him,” said Kenny McCarthy, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. “He is nice and calm in a race and always within himself. I was a little surprised he wasn’t on the lead early but Joel could sense the top ones were going on. Like Bill says, don’t change anything that’s working but don’t force anything either.”
McCarthy, who oversees Mott’s Midwest operation, said Courtier will go back to Kentucky and his connections will decide what will be the next step for him.
With his first stakes win, Courtier upped his mark to 3-1-1 in seven starts and has earned $219,918 for owner/breeder Juddmonte Farms. Courtier is out of the Touch Gold mare Soothing Touch, making him a half-brother to four-time Grade 1 winner Emollient.
Pioneerof the Nile, the nation’s leading Third-Crop sire in several categories, now has progeny earnings of $7,724,160, more than $4.5 million than any other third-crop sire.