American Graded Stakes Standings brought to you by Keeneland: Do New BC Races Make the Grade?
The Breeders’ Cup championships are just over one week away, and with much of our time spent hoofing it from Lexington to Louisville to raise money for Breeders’ Cup Charities, rather than go through the standings of leaders of American Graded Stakes winners, I’d like to pose a question to readers:
Should the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s Graded Stakes Committee have waived its rules—as was done when the Breeders’ Cup was inaugurated in 1984–and granted all of the new Breeders’ Cup races Grade 1 status?
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By doing so, the committee might have made some of the new races (Marathon, Grade 3; Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, which are Grade 2; and Turf Sprint, Grade 2) more attractive to owners, since winning a Grade 1 race can offer a significant boost to a stallion prospect or broodmare. But, on the other, if the committee followed the criteria used to grade stakes, some of theses races simply would not qualify under TOBA’s Graded Stakes Committee guidelines.
I don’t think there is any question that the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf are the best races for their respective divisions, but should 2-year-olds racing on turf even have a Grade 1 race? I’ll reserve my opinions and let readers sound off.