The American Graded Stakes Committee has formed a subcommittee to examine the number of graded races in the country, and which ones – in particular, which Grade 1's – should be eliminated.
According to a report in the Daily Racing Form, the subcommittee will report its findings to the full committee before it meets Nov. 30 to assign grades for 2017.
“We found out that these races are getting harder and harder to fill, and that's because there just aren't the horses to fill them,” said Andy Schweigardt, executive secretary of the Graded Stakes Committee. “So, we're going to look at the total number of Grade 1's and try to make that number commensurate with the number of horses in inventory.”
The Paulick Report addressed this subject nearly six years ago, urging the committee to reduce the number of graded stakes in an article entitled “Trim the Fat.”
Schweigartdt addressed the subject of whether the number of graded stakes should be reduced in a different 2010 Paulick Report article.
“There's been a fair amount of discussion among committee members in the last couple of years about that, and the general sense is we need to reduce the number,” said Schweigardt in 2010. “There is no consensus on how big that number should be. There are differences of opinion, differences of philosophy on that. There is general agreement that the number of stakes does need to be reduced.”
Schweigardt said this year that the committee will start reducing the number of Grade 1 races first. Grade 2 and Grade 3 races will be worked on in subsequent years.
“It's not going to happen in one fell swoop,” Schweigardt said. “It's going to take a couple of years.”
Read more in the Daily Racing Form
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