Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:00 AM
Support Allows Kentucky Track to Continue Triple Crown Prep
Stable Swept Last Two Editions of Spiral Stakes on Same Card
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky., and FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 23, 2013 – Team Valor International, riding back-to-back wins in the Spiral Stakes (G3) on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), has joined forces with Turfway Park to restore the Rushaway Stakes to the Spiral undercard on March 23, sponsoring the $75,000 race that Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin sees as a valuable conditioner for the Triple Crown.
The sponsorship will go directly to the purse for the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway, which originally was not on Turfway’s 2013 stakes schedule.
Team Valor captured the Rushaway in 1995 with Key Guy and finished second in 2011 with Crimson China. The stable has a pair of 3-year-old prospects this year in Cerro and Crop Report.
"We didn't want to see the Rushaway disappear so we stepped up," Irwin said. "It is nice to be able to support Turfway Park, which has been vital to our Triple Crown success over the last two racing seasons. Team Valor International races all over the world, but we are based in Kentucky and we want to do anything we can to bolster the local sport."
Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion used the Spiral Stakes as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby for both Animal Kingdom and Went the Day Well. Animal Kingdom captured the 2011 Spiral over Turfway's Polytrack surface in his stakes debut. Six weeks later he became the first horse to score in the Derby in his first start on dirt and at the end of the year was named the Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old male. Last year, Went the Day Well won the Spiral and nearly pulled off a historic double in the Derby, finishing a troubled fourth.
"We very much appreciate that Team Valor elected to partner with Turfway to maintain the Rushaway Stakes on our Spiral Stakes card," said Turfway general manager Chip Bach. "Team Valor's on-track and winner's circle contribution to Spiral Stakes day is well known, and their decision to bring their professional expertise to the day as a partner for the Rushaway Stakes is a wonderful opportunity for Turfway and for Kentucky racing."
Written for 3-year-olds, the Rushaway Stakes has been run continually since its establishment in 1986. The race is named for the winner of the 1936 Latonia Derby at the original Latonia Race Course, which offered racing in Northern Kentucky from 1883 to 1939 and was the inspiration for the opening of Turfway in 1959.
About Team Valor
Founded by Barry Irwin in 1987, Team Valor forms partnerships with racing enthusiasts and members of the industry to run Thoroughbreds at the major racing venues of the United States and abroad, including Australia, Europe and South Africa. The stable is the perennial leader among North American-based public syndicate groups in terms of stakes victories and individual stakes-winning horses.
About Turfway Park
Established in 1959, Turfway Park is a premier Thoroughbred race track in Northern Kentucky that hosts live racing from December through March and offers simulcast wagering year-round. Turfway was the first racing establishment in North America to install the all-weather surface Polytrack on its one-mile track and features stabling for approximately 1,000 horses. The track is home to the $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3), first run in 1972 and now a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby.