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2011 Graded Stakes Changes

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The American Graded Stakes Committee, which is a part of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association ("TOBA"), released the changes to the 2011 list of graded stakes races in the United States, as reported by the Blood-Horse.com.  

The complete list of 2011 Graded Stakes has not yet been posted by the TOBA.  

The table below summarizes the races that have seen a change in their graded status from 2010.  

Changes

Race

Track

Condition

G2 to G1

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

n/a

2yo, Turf

G3 to G2

Presque Isle Downs Masters

PID

3up, F&M, Poly

Breeders' Cup Marathon

n/a

3up, Dirt

Tampa Bay Derby

TAM

3yo, Dirt

With Anticipation

SAR

2yo, Turf

Un to G3

Charles Town Classic

CT

3up, Dirt

Tampa Bay Stakes

TAM

3up, Turf

Turf Monster Handicap

PAR

3up, Turf

Marshua's River

GP

3up, F&M, Turf

Jessamine

KEE

2yo, Fillies, Turf

G1 to G2

Clement L Hirsch Turf

Oak Tree

3up, Turf

G2 to G3

DuPont Distaff

PIM

3up, F&M, Dirt

Lane's End Stakes

TP

3yo, Poly

Lexington

KEE

3yo, Poly

Cornhusker Handicap

PM

3up, Dirt

San Francisco Mile

GG

3up, Turf

G3 to Un

Florida Oaks

GP

3yo, Fillies, Dirt

Sana Paula Stakes

SA

3yo, Fillies, Dirt

Stake Door Betty

CRC

3up, F&M, Dirt

Lone Star Derby

LS

3yo, Dirt

Tropical Park Derby

CRC

3yo, Turf

Chuck Lang

PIM

3yo, Dirt

Memorial Day Handicap

CRC

3up, Dirt

Queens Country Handicap

AQU

3up, Dirt

Carey Memorial

HAW

3up, Turf

Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap

CRC

3up, Dirt

A few observations:

  • The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is still not a Grade 1?  Seriously?  That's a glaring omission in my mind.
  • The Marathon to Grade 2...I suppose, but it's hard for me to believe that the Turf Sprint and the Marathon are equals in terms of class.  That just does not appear to be the case on the track.
  • Only three Breeders' Cup races are left that have yet to achieve Grade 1 status: Turf Sprint, Marathon, and Juvenile Filly Turf.  The Marathon might never make it but the other two should get there within the next five years.
  • I'm not surprised the Lexington and the Lane's End got dinged by the committee as those two races haven't produced much in recent years.  
  • Calder got lit up by the committee - four Grade 3s moving to ungraded status
  • The move to Grade 2 status seems right for the Tampa Bay Derby; that's been a good race for several years now and certainly a notch above Grade 3.
  • I'll have to go back and compare to last year but if my gut instincts are right this is the second year in a row where turf races dominate the list of "upgraded" races.  Six of the ten upgrades and only four of the sixteen downgrades are grass races.