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Akansas Derby finally granted G1 status; other actions too

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  • Akansas Derby finally granted G1 status; other actions too

    What has been seemingly one particular significant lapse by the American Graded Stakes Committee for a while now has been changed:

    The AGSC raised the noted Kentucky Derby prep race, the Arkansas Derby, from G2 to G1

    The other two new grade I events are the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.
    Upgraded from Grade 3 to Grade 2:

    Elevated to grade II from grade III are the American Turf Stakes and Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs; the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint; the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots; and the Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
    Gaining graded stakes status from ungraded to G3:

    Events receiving grade III status are the Breeders’ Cup Marathon; Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar; Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park; Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino; Sunland Park Derby; and the Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park.
    Sadly for every winner there is a loser and unfortunately at least one in Maryland for each category ....

    Downgraded from Grade 1 to Grade 2:

    the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park; Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes at Laurel Park; Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga; John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar; and Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita.
    Downgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 3:

    Bed O’ Roses Handicap at Aqueduct; Beverly Hills Handicap and Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park; Comely Stakes at Aqueduct; Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course; Jefferson Cup Stakes at Churchill; La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder Race Course; Ohio Derby at Thistledown; Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream; and Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park.
    Downgraded from Grade 3 to ungraded:

    the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita; Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park; Calder Derby at Calder; Cinema Handicap at Hollywood Park; Dallas Turf Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park; Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course; and Next Move Stakes and Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct.

  • #2
    I looked at the complete list of grade I stakes and am puzzled by the huge number that are in California.

    No offense to Californians and their racing, but it's in such turmoil these days, and there seems to be general agreement that in general California racing isn't nearly the quality that it was twenty years ago, that I don't understand why they retain so many GI races. It's not like East Coast horses are going to ship out to run in most of their races. California horses race against California horses in the main. When they come east, they don't tend to do very well.

    If G1 status is based on the quality of competition, how come such a huge number of the total of G1s is in California? Especially since they are all on funny footing now?
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