Canadian Graded Stakes Good for BC Points

Thirty-three graded stakes will qualify for Breeders' Cup points beginning this year.

Horses finishing first, second, or third in graded stakes in Canada will receive official Breeders’ Cup points that can determine starting positions in the World Championships.

The points system is a qualification factor for positions in the World Championships, which this year will be run Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs. Horses earn graded stakes points by finishing first, second, or third in a graded stakes in the United States or Canada from Jan. 1-Oct. 23.

There are 33 graded stakes in Canada scheduled in 2011 to be run before the Breeders’ Cup pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24. All Canadian graded race results thus far in 2011 will be included retroactively, Breeders' Cup officials said Aug. 3.

The points system is as follows:

Grade I stakes: 10 points for first, 6 points for second, and 4 points for third.

Grade II stakes: 6 points for first, 4 points for second, and 2 points for third.

Grade III stakes: 4 points for first, 2 points for second, and 1 point for third.

Breeders’ Cup races, of which there are 15 this year, are limited to 14 starters. In an oversubscribed field, seven of the 14 starters are determined first by Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners, and then by the highest number of Breeders’ Cup point earners. The remaining seven are chosen by a panel of racing directors and secretaries.

“Given the high standard of international competition within Canadian racing, our Racing and Nominations Committee strongly recommended that the graded stakes in Canada should be on equal footing with the American graded stakes in our overall point standings,” Breeders’ Cup president and chief executive officer Craig Fravel said in a statement. “Canadian breeders and owners have been an important part of the Breeders’ Cup program since its inception, and we believe this change will further encourage Canadian participation in the Championships.”

Woodbine will host six Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this year. Winners of the Natalma Stakes (Can-III), Summer Stakes (Can-III), Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-I), E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I); Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), and Nearctic Stakes (Can-I) will receive an automatic berth into a corresponding race in the World Championships if nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by Oct. 24.