Graded Stakes Committee Approves Three New Grade I Stakes for 2003
Date Posted: 11/27/2002 12:22:17 PM
Last Updated: 12/2/2002 3:36:08 PM

There will be three new grade I stakes, three new grade II events, and 10 new grade III races under a 2003 list released Nov. 27 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

The committee met Nov. 25-26 in Lexington. It reviewed 741 unrestricted stakes in the United States with a purse of at least $75,000. Graded status was awarded to 487 of them, one more than in 2002.

A total of six graded races were upgraded. Nine races that carried grade III status in 2002 are no longer graded.

Three races were upgraded to grade I status: the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park, and the Diana Handicap at Saratoga.

Three races were upgraded to grade II status: the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar; Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park; and the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds. The Illinois Derby, originally scheduled for a downgrade to grade III in 2003, will retain its grade II status.

Ten races were upgraded to grade III status: the Toboggan Handicap at Aqueduct; the Carry Back Stakes, Spend A Buck Handicap, and Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course; the Lecomte Stakes and Whirlaway Handicap at Fair Grounds; the Transylvania Stakes, Sycamore Breeders' Cup Stakes, and Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland; and the WinStar Distaff Handicap at Lone Star Park.

Three races were downgraded from grade I to grade II: the Gulfstream Park Handicap at Gulfstream Park; the Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park; and the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Three races were downgraded from grade II to grade III: the Pegasus Handicap at The Meadowlands; the Philip H. Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park; and the San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita Park.

Eight races were downgraded from grade III to ungraded status: the Gallant Fox Handicap, Rare Treat Handicap, and Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct; the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows; the Cowdin Stakes at Belmont Park; the Tanforan Handicap at Golden Gate Fields; and the Honeybee Stakes and Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The Laurel Dash Stakes was not eligible for grading in 2003.

In all, there will be 101 (20.8%) grade I stakes in 2003, 155 (31.8%) grade II stakes, and 231 (47.4%) grade III stakes. There were 714 eligible races, 487 (65.7%) of which will be graded, and 254 (34.3%) ungraded.

Summary of Decisions Made at November 25 - 26, 2002 Grading Session

RACES UPGRADED FOR 2003:

3-Year-Old Fillies
Silverbulletday S., Fair Grounds, Grade III to Grade II

Older Fillies and Mares
Diana H. (T), Saratoga, Grade II to Grade I
Delaware H., Delaware Park, Grade III to Grade II
WinStar Distaff H. (T), Lone Star Park, Ungraded to Grade III

2-Year-Olds
Best Pal S., Del Mar, Grade III to Grade II

3-Year-Olds
Carry Back S., Calder Race Course, Ungraded to Grade III
Lecomte S., Fair Grounds, Ungraded to Grade III
Transylvania S. (T), Keeneland, Ungraded to Grade III
Illinois Derby, Sportsman's Park, Retains Grade II

Older Horses
Suburban H., Belmont Park, Grade II to Grade I
Triple Bend Breeders' Cup H., Hollywood Park, Grade II to Grade I
Toboggan H., Aqueduct, Ungraded to Grade III
Spend A Buck H., Calder Race Course, Ungraded to Grade III
Smile Sprint H., Calder Race Course, Ungraded to Grade III
Whirlaway H., Fair Grounds, Ungraded to Grade III
Shakertown S. (T), (Keeneland, Ungraded to Grade III
Sycamore Breeders' Cup S. (T), Keeneland, Ungraded to Grade III

RACES DOWNGRADED FOR 2003:

3-Year-Old Fillies
Honeybee S., Oaklawn Park, Grade III to Ungraded

Older Fillies and Mares
Beverly Hills H. (T), Hollywood Park, Grade I to Grade II
Rare Treat H., Aqueduct, Grade III to Ungraded

2-Year-Olds
Cowdin S., Belmont Park, Grade III to Ungraded

3-Year-Olds
Pegasus H., The Meadowlands, Grade II to Grade III
Rebel S. , Oaklawn Park, Grade III to Ungraded
Ascot H. (T), (Bay Meadows, Grade III to Ungraded

Older Horses
Gulfstream Park H., Gulfstream Park, Grade I to Grade II
Oaklawn H., Oaklawn Park, Grade I to Grade II
Philip H. Iselin H., Monmouth Park, Grade II to Grade III
San Bernardino H., Santa Anita Park, Grade II to Grade III
Gallant Fox H., Aqueduct, Grade III to Ungraded
Stymie H., Aqueduct, Grade III to Ungraded
Tanforan H. (T), Golden Gate Fields, Grade III to Ungraded
Laurel Dash S., Laurel Park, not eligible


Copyright © 2014 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SUBSCRIBE to The Blood-Horse magazine TODAY!