Top Horse Races – Graded Stakes Put the Sport’s Top Thoroughbreds on Display

Often, a Grade 2 race will precede a Grade 1 race on the racing schedule.

In 1973, horse racing in North America entered a new era when the concept of “graded stakes” races became a reality. You can find articles regarding Horse racing industries and interesting facts about the understanding of online racing games.To know more about horse racing games online and related information log on to www.horseracegame.com.

Stakes races can be assigned one of three grades–Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000. The better the horses that compete, the higher the grade. For example, the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita is followed a month later by the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.

“Why bother? Why try to remember which race is better than, or inferior to, another?” Kent Hollingsworth, the longtime editor-in-chief of the influential trade publication Blood-Horse Magazine, wrote in 1973. A minimum of six committee members would have to be on board in order for a race to be downgraded.

Grades are determined and assigned by TOBA’s American Graded Stakes Committee, which consists of six members of TOBA and five racing officials.

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A Grade 3 race, the lowest level of graded stakes races, must have a minimum purse of $100,000. That’s why many of the new races in the Breeders’ Cup over the last few years were not initially graded. The process of assigning grades is somewhat convoluted, but in essence what the committee does is look at the relative strength of a race over a five-year period.

A Grade 2 race, which is one step down from a Grade 1, must have a minimum purse of $150,000.

In order for a race to be upgraded, it must be approved by at least eight members of the committee.

For 2012, the American Graded Stakes Committee reviewed 659 unrestricted U.S. Grade 1s, which include races such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, are considered the most prestigious of all North American Stakes races and carry the biggest purses. The committee assigned Grade 1 status to 112 races, (24.1 percent), Grade 2 status to 151 races (32.5 percent) and Grade 3 status to 202 races (43.4 percent).

Grade 1 races are expected to attract the best racehorses in training and potential champions.

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“Because, to improve the breed, to upgrade a broodmare band, to select a stallion, to understand a catalogue page, to evaluate a family–one must be able to recognize racing class.”

In order for a stakes race to be graded, it must be run under the same conditions for a minimum of two years. A Grade 3 race will often feature horses on the rise with Grade 1 aspirations, or horses that have already proven in their careers that they are a cut or two below the very best. The idea of assigning grades to various stakes races, which is administered by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, was designed to provide breeders with an easy reference to compare the relative class and ability of a racehorse. To be eligible for Grade 1 status, a race must have a minimum purse of $250,000

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