Team Valor's Crimson China finished 2nd in the 2011 Rushaway.

Team Valor's Crimson China finished 2nd in the 2011 Rushaway.

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Team Valor to Sponsor Rushaway at Turfway

Sponsorship will allow Kentucky track to offer the stakes for 3-year-olds in 2013.

A sponsorship from Team Valor International will allow Turfway Park to restore the Rushaway Stakes to its Sprial Stakes (gr. III) day undercard.

The Spiral, an important prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been captured in back-to-back years by Team Valor horses: Animal Kingdom  in 2011, who went on to win the Derby; and Went the Day Well in 2012, who finished fourth in the Derby.

The sponsorship will go directly to the $75,000 purse for the Rushaway, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, 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," said Barry Irwin, Team Valor chief executive officer. "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."

Turfway, in a statement, said it welcomes the sponsorship.

"We very much appreciate that Team Valor elected to partner with Turfway to maintain the Rushaway Stakes on our Spiral Stakes card," said 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."

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.