TOBA Releases Changes To 2017 American Graded Stakes Schedule

by | 12.02.2016 | 11:47am
Outwork edges Trojan Nation in this year's Grade 1 Wood Memorial, a race downgraded to Grade 2 for 2017

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association today presented its listing of U.S. Graded and Listed Stakes Races for 2017, the results of its annual grading session conducted Nov. 30 in Lexington. The Committee reviewed 790 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned Graded status to 464 of them, the same as were graded in 2016, and Listed status to 172 races.

Five Graded races were upgraded; eight new Grade III races were named; 23 new Listed races were upgraded from non-Listed Black Type status. Fourteen races which carried Graded or Listed status in 2016 are no longer eligible for grading.

One race was upgraded to Grade I status for 2017: the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing. Three races were downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2017: the Wood Memorial S. at Aqueduct, Mother Goose S. at Belmont Park and Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland. Four races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2017: the Knickerbocker S. and Belmont Sprint Championship S. at Belmont Park, Woodford S. at Keeneland and Penn Mile S. at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Ten races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2017: the Peter Pan S. at Belmont Park, Smile Sprint S. at Gulfstream Park, Indiana Derby and Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand, Commonwealth Derby at Laurel Park, Los Alamitos Derby at Los Alamitos Race Course, Monmouth Cup S. at Monmouth Park, West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park and Lake George S. and With Anticipation S. at Saratoga.

Eight races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2017: the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational S., Intercontinental S. and Wonder Again S. at Belmont Park, Lukas Classic S. at Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf S. and Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint S. at Kentucky Downs, Desert Stormer II S. at Santa Anita Park and Ohio Derby at JACK Thistledown Racino.

Four races were downgraded from Grade III to Listed status for 2017: the Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park, Old Hat S. at Gulfstream Park and Boiling Springs S. and Jersey Shore S. at Monmouth Park.

Twenty-three races were upgraded to Listed status for 2017: the Garland of Roses S. and Heavenly Prize Invitational S. at Aqueduct, Chelsey Flower S., Elusive Quality S., License Fee S., Memories of Silver S., Soaring Softly S., Temperence Hill Invitational S. and Wild Applause S. at Belmont Park, Open Mind S. at Churchill Downs, Sanibel Island H. and Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park, Dueling Grounds Derby and Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs, Safely Kept S. at Laurel Park, American Beauty S., Bachelor S. and Spring Fever S. at Oaklawn Park, Astra S., Mizdirection S. and Pasadena S. at Santa Anita Park, Smart N Fancy S. at Saratoga and Zia Park Oaks at Zia Park.

Ten races were downgraded from Listed to non-Listed Black Type status for 2017: the Sugar Maple S. and Wild and Wonderful S. at Charles Town, Alcatraz S. at Golden Gate Fields, Happy Ticket S. at Louisiana Downs, Mountaineer Juvenile S. at Mountaineer Park, Northern Spur S. at Oaklawn Park, My Juliet S. and Jostle S. at Parx Racing, Edward J. Debartolo Memorial S. at Remington Park and M2 Technology La Senorita S. at Retama Park.

The Arlington Oaks, Arlington Sprint S. and Washington Park H. at Arlington Park; Sweet and Sassy S. at Delaware Park; Memorial H. at Gulfstream Park; Hawthorne Derby at Hawthorne Race Course; Los Alamitos Mile S. at Los Alamitos Race Course; Mountaineer Mile S. at Mountaineer Park; Cornucopia S. and Auld Lang Syne S. at Parx Racing; Inaugural S. and Windward S. at Presque Isle Downs; and American Beauty S. and Strub S. at Santa Anita Park were not eligible for grading in 2017.

Following is a summary breakdown of all grade levels and a complete list of all upgraded and downgraded U.S. races for the 2017 racing season as well as the complete list of 2017 Graded and Listed stakes.

2017 Graded Stakes Number % Graded % Eligible Change from 2016
Grade I 107 23.1% -2
Grade II 128 27.6% -5
Grade III 229 49.4% +7
All Graded 464 58.7%
Listed 172 21.8%
Non-Listed Eligible 154 19.5%
All Gr., L & NLE Races 790


Dr. J. David  Richardson is chairman of the American Graded Stakes Committee. Other committee members include Barbara Banke, Reynolds Bell Jr., Craig Bernick, Everett Dobson, and J. Michael O'Farrell representing the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; and racing officials Georganne Hale of the Maryland Jockey Club, Rick Hammerle of Santa Anita Park, Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, Martin Panza of the New York Racing Association, and Tom Robbins of Del Mar.

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