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Crop Report favorable in Rushaway

Crop Report drew off late while making his stakes debut in the Spiral (Jordan Strickler Photo)

Sometimes you have to save the race to win the race.

Facing at least a temporary suspension without a monetary infusion from sponsor Team Valor International, Saturday's $75,000 Rushaway at Turfway Park proved the right vehicle for Team Valor's Crop Report to kick start a potential drive toward the spring classics.

Favored at 3-5, Crop Report overcame a bump at the start and a nine-length deficit to wear down pacesetter Divine Ambition in the final furlong to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. Crop Report, who might go next in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 13, completed 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:45 3/5. He returned $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10.

Divine Ambition, the 2-1 second choice who set splits of :23 3/5, :47 4/5 and 1:13, held the place by three lengths over 9-1 shot Red Wings. Take the Sloroad, J. J. Got Even and Bet a Bundle completed the order of finish. Star Contender and Stormin Monarcho were early scratches, while Honorable Guest was withdrawn after dumping his rider and running off during the warm-up.

A son of Medaglia d'Oro, Crop Report made two starts at Newmarket in England last October under the tutelage of William Haggas. Seventh in his October 6 debut over the Rowley Mile, he rebounded 2 1/2 weeks later to win at the same distance by a comfortable five lengths.

Privately purchased thereafter by Team Valor and transferred to Graham Motion, Crop Report rallied to finish third in his U.S. debut, a February 23 turf allowance at Gulfstream Park, after hitting the gate at the start. His record now stands at 4-2-0-1, $57,609.

"I don't know if he did improve today, to tell you the truth. He might have run the same race he ran at Gulfstream," Team Valor's Barry Irwin said. "We've never had a horse like this. He's a May 31 foal -- when he works in the morning, when he's in motion, he's as good as Animal Kingdom. But he's so immature and so klutzy away from the gate that he gives up five, seven, eight lengths at the start. He's not going to make the (Kentucky) Derby, but I think he's an exciting prospect for a race like the Belmont."

Bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm, Crop Report was a $35,000 Keeneland January juvenile purchase. He was produced by Grade 3 Delaware Handicap winner Amarillo, a Crafty Prospector half-sister to Grade 3 winner Government Corner. Also hailing from this family is Grade 3 winner Gorgeous Goose.

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