Team Valor International has joined forces with Turfway Park to restore the Rushaway Stakes to the undercard of the Grade III Spiral Stakes on March 23, sponsoring the 1 1/16-miles race for a purse of $75,000.
The sponsorship will go directly to the purse for the 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 also captured the last two runnings of the Spiral, taking last year’s edition with Went the Day Well and in 2011 with eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
“We didn’t want to see the Rushaway disappear so we stepped up,” Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said in a statement. “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.”
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 en route to finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
“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.