Churchill Downs has unveiled a stakes schedule for its 2009 spring meet that is headed by the 135th renewals of the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). There will be 29 events with total purses of $7.575 million.
The grade III Sir Beaufort Stakes Dec. 26 was downgraded to ungraded status after being switched to the main track, but after being reviewed by the American Graded Stakes Committee, the original status was reinstated.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering on Dec. 18 announced the issuance of new rules on use of anabolic steroids for race horses in the state.
There will be seven more graded stakes in the United States in 2009, with six new grade I events -- two of them part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships--based on a listing of graded stakes released Nov. 25 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Following the recommendation of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, toe grabs with a height greater than two millimeters (.07874 inches) on front horseshoes will be banned from all horses racing at Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct effecctive Oct. 29, opening day of the Aqueduct fall meet.
Eligibility to host graded stakes is now tied to adoption of regulations for anabolic steroids and toe grabs, the American Graded Stakes Committee announced Aug. 8.
Reynolds Bell Jr. will succeed Bill Casner as chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which held its annual members' meeting Aug. 6 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Keeneland will offer a record $5.4 million in stakes purses, one of the richest stakes programs in North America, for its 2008 fall race meeting to be held Oct. 3-25, the Lexington oval announced June 3.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has reviewed the off-the-turf running of the Transylvania Stakes April 4 at Keeneland and has ruled the race will retain its grade III status.
There will be three new grade I stakes in the United States in 2008 after a review by the American Graded Stakes Committee, but for the time being, the three Breeders' Cup World Championships races run for the first time in 2007 won't have a grade.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors will discuss international participation in the World Championships, new races, and potential host sites for 2009 during its Dec. 7 meeting.
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will add four commonly used anabolic steroids to the list of substances for which horses must be tested in graded stakes effective Jan. 1, 2008.
Suffolk Downs will reinstitute the historic Massachusetts Handicap this fall as part of a continued effort to return the East Boston racetrack to a secure financial position.
Calder Race Course will run its first grade I race in 2006, the Princess Rooney Handicap, one of four races upgraded to grade I status by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Bill Casner of WinStar Farm has been elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, replacing Cobra Farm's Gary Biszantz, who was first elected to a one-year term in 2001 and re-elected three successive years.
Kentucky racing officials said a program for heightened security and expanded drug testing for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs went smoothly.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's American Graded Stakes Committee announced Thursday it has implemented its drug testing protocol.
With only a few differences, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. will be utilizing the same testing procedures for "milkshakes" that are in effect at Keeneland Racecourse and similar to those at many other North American tracks during the spring meet that begins April 30.
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced Wednesday its listing of U.S. graded stakes for 2005, the results of its annual grading session conducted Tuesday in Lexington, Ky.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Association, at its next meeting Aug. 16, hopes to consider an upgraded drug-testing plan offered by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has re-elected Gary Biszantz as chairman of its board of trustees. It will mark the fourth term for Biszantz. The action was taken Aug. 13 during the organization's annual board meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- These days, the country's best older horses rarely line up and race against each other in handicaps. Trainers often decline to run if their charges are asked to carry weight, and racing secretaries know that. Since racing secretaries today aren't going to really weight horses, let's just do away with handicaps and move on.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and Delaware Park have decided the drug-testing protocol of the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association be adopted voluntarily.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, at its next meeting Aug. 16, hopes to consider an upgraded drug-testing plan offered by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association delayed implementation of its drug-testing protocol for graded stakes in the United States because not all jurisdictions were prepared to implement it, the American Graded Stakes Committee said July 14.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association remains committed to implementing a drug-testing program tied to the American Graded Stakes Committee by July 1, an official said April 1 during the Joint Conference of Racing Regulators in New Orleans.
- By Mike Kane
Two historic stakes for 2-year-olds, the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and the Adirondack (gr. II), both run for the first time in 1901, have been dropped from the schedule for the 2004 season at Saratoga Race Course.
The Texas Racing Commission has authorized the Texas Medical Diagnostic Laboratory to increase the amount of ELISA tests it conducts and decrease the number of screens it evaluates from urine samples collected for post-race analysis.
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association released Tuesday its listing of U.S. graded stakes for 2004, the results of its annual grading session conducted Nov. 24 in Lexington, Ky. The committee reviewed 759 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 480 of them, seven less than were graded in 2003.
Someone always seems unhappy after the American Graded Stakes Committee meets each fall and announces upgrades or downgrades to the program for the upcoming year. But graded stakes and the American Graded Stakes Committee have stood the test of time.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced today the appointment of John Phillips to the American Graded Stakes Committee in place of New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz. Phillips will serve out the remaining two years of Schwartz's term.
Despite concerns the association's signal would be sent to wagering outlets that offer rebates, and the fact there is no contract yet with horsemen, the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 23 approved an application by the Los Angeles Turf Club for its Santa Anita Park meet that begins Dec. 26.
Oak Tree Racing Association has stepped up backstretch security for its current meet, which includes the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
The Kentucky Racing Commission has approved extensive drug testing in conjunction with the American Graded Stakes Committee mandate that it be implemented in order for stakes to retain their grades.
When the Sept. 1 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap came off the turf, it also lost its grade III status. After a review by the American Graded Stakes Committee, it has been reinstated.
The Kentucky Racing Commission and the Kentucky Equine Drug Council in October will consider the mandate by the American Graded Stakes Committee that enhanced drug testing be implemented by next year in order for stakes to maintain their grades.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors on Monday officially endorsed the proposed Thoroughbred Championship Tour, and also said it would use a new drug-testing protocol being designed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association for all graded stakes.
The American Graded Stakes Committee plans to install a drug testing protocol for all graded stakes in 2004 that will require laboratories to perform tests for approximately 140 parent drugs and their analytes.
The American Graded Stakes Committee will begin implementing a drug-testing plan for horses participating in its designated races beginning at Keeneland and Belmont Park this fall. It expects to have the testing protocol fully in place by the end of 2004.
The March 23 Orchid Handicap won by Tweedside, which was automatically downgraded after being switched off the turf, has retained its Grade II status.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has issued warning letters to racetracks that present nearly every grade 1 stakes for 3-year-olds, advising them that the races would be downgraded for 2004 unless field quality improves.
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.
Last weekend's running of the Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. IIIT) run at Belmont Park has been downgraded to an ungraded listed race. The downgrade only affects the 2002 running that took place on Oct. 12.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
The Fourstardave Handicap and Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap, both taken off the turf course and switched to a sloppy main track at Saratoga on Aug. 24, have been downgraded by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
The American Graded Stakes committee has raised the minimum purse amounts necessary for a race to be considered for graded status.
After a review, the American Graded Stakes Committee has ruled that the July 27 Martha Washington Stakes lost its grade III status this year.
Racing and breeding news and information.
After a two-day meeting in Lexington, Ky., the American Graded Stakes Committee on Thursday released the list of stakes races that will have graded status in 2002. As a result of the committee's review, which uses a five-year formula to assess races and assign graded status, there is a net gain of eight graded races in 2002, bringing to 486 the number of races assigned graded status from the 751 eligible races.
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