Graded stakes race

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A graded stakes race is any thoroughbred horse race in the United States or Canada that derives its name from the stake, or entry fee, owners must pay. The term has been applied since 1973 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. These fees, to which the track adds an additional amount, constitute the total amount from which prize money is paid to the first, second, third, and usually fourth-place finishers.

Levels[edit]

There are three different levels of stakes races, the top ranking, and therefore purse, being a Grade I Stakes. They are higher-class races for bigger prizes and often involve competitors that belong to the same gender, age and class. These races may, though, be "weight-for-age", with weights adjusted only according to age, and also there are 'set weights' where all horses carry the same weight. Furthermore, there are "conditions" races, in which horses carry weights that are set by conditions, such as having won a certain number of races, or races of a certain value. Finally, some graded stakes are "handicaps", in which an official handicapper assigns weights to each horse in an attempt to equalize the competition.

Criteria[edit]

The American Graded Stakes Committee uses as some of its criteria for the grading:

  • Purse Requirement: That the race has a purse of more than $75,000.
  • Longevity: That the race has been run for two years under the same conditions.
  • Drug Testing: That post race drug testing is managed by a governmental authority.
  • Restrictions: That the race may be restricted only in age and gender.
  • Anabolic Steroid Testing : Only Boldenone, Nandrolone, Stanozolol, and Testosterone are allowed to be used.
  • Toe Grabs: Cannot be more than two millimeters long.

In the United States and Canada, a graded race can be dormant for one year without losing its grade.

As long as the race meets these requirements, the Committee grades on the overall quality of the previous fields and the performance of horses in the previous fields in stakes both prior to and after the race. For example: if the winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic raced in the Santa Anita Handicap then the race would almost certainly be a Grade One.

Graded stakes races are referred to as Group races in horse-racing in Europe.

U.S. graded stakes races[edit]

Grade I (2015)[edit]

Race Track Furlong Track Age Sex Purse
Acorn Stakes Belmont 8 Dirt 3 F $750,000
Alabama Stakes Saratoga 10 Dirt 3 F $600,000
Alcibiades Stakes Keeneland 8.5 Dirt 2 F $400,000
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Saratoga 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $350,000
American Oaks Invitational Stakes Santa Anita 10 Turf 3+ F $400,000
Apple Blossom Handicap Oaklawn 8.5 Dirt 4+ F $600,000
Arkansas Derby Oaklawn 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Arlington Million Stakes Arlington 10 Turf 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Ashland Stakes Keeneland 8.5 Dirt 3 F $500,000
Awesome Again Stakes Santa Anita 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Ballerina Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 3+ F/M $500,000
Beldame Stakes Belmont 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $400,000
Belmont Derby Belmont 10 Turf 3+ F/M $1,250,000
Belmont Stakes Belmont 12 Dirt 3 F/M $1,500,000
Beverly D. Stakes Arlington 9.5 Turf 3+ F/M $750,000
Bing Crosby Handicap Del Mar 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Blue Grass Stakes Keeneland 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Classic (Rotates location) 10 Dirt 3+ F/M $5,000,000
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (Rotates location) 8 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Rotates location) 7 Dirt 3+ F $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Rotates location) 11 Turf 3+ F $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Rotates location) 8.5 Dirt 2 M $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Rotates location) 8.5 Dirt 2 F $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Rotates location) 8 Turf 2 F $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Rotates location) 8 Turf 2 M $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (Rotates location) 9 Dirt 3+ F $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Mile (Rotates location) 8 Turf 3+ F/M $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Sprint (Rotates location) 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,500,000
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (Rotates location) 5.5 Turf 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Turf (Rotates location) 12 Turf 3+ F/M $3,000,000
Breeders' Futurity Stakes Keeneland 8.5 Dirt 2 F/M $500,000
Carter Handicap Aqueduct 7 Dirt 3+ F/M $400,000
Chandelier Stakes Santa Anita 8.5 Dirt 2 F $300,000
Champagne Stakes Belmont 8 Dirt 2 F/M $500,000
Cigar Mile Handicap Aqueduct 8 Dirt 3+ F/M $753,750
Clark Handicap Churchill Downs 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $500,000
Clement L. Hirsch Stakes Del Mar 8.5 Dirt 3+ F $300,000
Coaching Club American Oaks Saratoga 10 Dirt 3 F $300,000
Del Mar Debutante Stakes Del Mar 7 Dirt 2 F $300,000
Del Mar Futurity Del Mar 7 Dirt 2 F/M $300,000
Del Mar Oaks Del Mar 9 Dirt 3 F $300,000
Delaware Handicap Delaware Park 10 Dirt 3+ F $750,000
Diana Stakes Saratoga 9 Turf 3+ F/M $500,000
Donn Handicap Gulfstream Park 9 Dirt 4+ F/M $500,000
Eddie Read Handicap Del Mar 9 Turf 3+ F/M $400,000
First Lady Stakes Keeneland 8 Turf 3+ F/M $400,000
Florida Derby Gulfstream Park 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes Belmont 10 Turf 3+ F/M $500,000
Forego Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 3+ F/M $700,000
Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap Santa Anita 8 Turf 4+ F/M $400,000
Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes Laurel Park 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $350,000
Frizette Stakes Belmont 8 Dirt 2 F $400,000
FrontRunner Stakes Santa Anita 8.5 Dirt 2 F/M $300,000
Gamely Stakes Santa Anita 9 Turf 3+ F/M $300,000
Garden City Stakes Belmont 9 Turf 3 F $500,000
Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes Santa Anita 10 Dirt 3+ F/M $500,000
Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap Gulfstream Park 9 Turf 4+ F/M $300,000
Haskell Invitational Stakes Monmouth 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Hollywood Derby Del Mar 9 Turf 3 F/M $300,000
Hopeful Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 2 F/M $350,000
Humana Distaff Handicap Churchill Downs 7 Dirt 4+ F/M $300,000
Jenny Wiley Stakes Keeneland 8.5 Turf 4+ F $300,000
Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes Belmont Park 10 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes Belmont 12 Turf 3+ F/M $600,000
Just A Game Handicap Belmont 8 Turf 4+ F $700,000
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs 10 Dirt 3 F/M $2,000,000
Kentucky Oaks Churchill Downs 9 Dirt 3 F $1,000,000
King's Bishop Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 3 F/M $500,000
La Brea Stakes Santa Anita 7 Dirt 3 F $300,000
La Troienne Stakes Churchill Downs 8.5 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Las Virgenes Stakes Santa Anita 8 Dirt 3 F $300,000
Los Alamitos Futurity Los Alamitos 8.5 Dirt 2 F/M $500,000
Maker's Mark Mile Stakes Keeneland 8 Turf 4+ F/M $300,000
Malibu Stakes Santa Anita 7 Dirt 3 F/M $300,000
Man o' War Stakes Belmont 11 Turf 3+ F/M $400,000
Manhattan Handicap Belmont 10 Turf 4+ F/M $1,000,000
Matriarch Stakes Del Mar 8 Turf 3+ F/M $300,000
Metropolitan Handicap Belmont 8 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,250,000
Mother Goose Stakes Belmont 8.5 Dirt 3 F $300,000
Ogden Phipps Handicap Belmont 8.5 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Pacific Classic Stakes Del Mar 10 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Personal Ensign Stakes Saratoga 9 Dirt 3+ F $750,000
Preakness Stakes Pimlico 9.5 Dirt 3 F/M $1,500,000
Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Keeneland 9 Turf 3 F $500,000
Rodeo Drive Stakes Santa Anita 10 Turf 3+ F/M $300,000
Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Santa Anita Handicap Santa Anita 10 Dirt 4+ F/M $1,000,000
Santa Anita Oaks Santa Anita 8.5 Dirt 3 F $400,000
Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes Santa Anita 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap Santa Anita 9 Dirt 4+ F/M $400,000
Secretariat Stakes Arlington 10 Turf 3 F/M $450,000
Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes Keeneland 8 Turf 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Shoemaker Mile Santa Anita 8 Turf 3+ F/M $400,000
Spinaway Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 2 F $350,000
Spinster Stakes Keeneland 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $500,000
Starlet Stakes Los Alamitos 8.5 Dirt 2 F $500,000
Stephen Foster Handicap Churchill Downs 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $500,000
Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes Saratoga 12 Turf 3+ F/M $1,000,000
Test Stakes Saratoga 7 Dirt 3 F $500,000
Travers Stakes Saratoga 10 Dirt 3 F/M $1,250,000
Triple Bend Invitational Handicap Santa Anita 7 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Turf Classic Stakes Churchill Downs 9 Turf 3+ F/M $500,000
United Nations Stakes Monmouth 11 Turf 3+ F/M $500,000
Vanity Invitational Handicap Santa Anita 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $300,000
Vinery Madison Stakes Keeneland 7 Dirt 4+ F $350,000
Vosburgh Stakes Belmont 6 Dirt 3+ F/M $400,000
Whitney Handicap Saratoga 9 Dirt 3+ F/M $1,500,000
Wood Memorial Stakes Aqueduct 9 Dirt 3 F/M $1,000,000
Woodward Stakes Saratoga 9 Dirt 4+ F/M $600,000
Zenyatta Stakes Santa Anita 8.5 Dirt 3+ F $300,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]