One year after being downgraded to Grade II status, the Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga was restored as a Grade I contest when the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association presented its listing of U.S. Graded and Listed Stakes for 2013 on Friday.
This year’s Hopeful Stakes was captured by Shanghai Bobby, who went on to cap off his undefeated 5-for-5 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on November 3.
Joining the Hopeful in being elevated to Grade I status for 2013 is the Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park, which this year was won by champion Royal Delta – who went on to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on November 2 – and also featured Grade I winner Awesome Maria and eventual multiple Grade I winner Love and Pride.
The annual grading session was conducted November 28 in Lexington where the Committee reviewed 673 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 457 of them, eight fewer than were graded in 2012, and Listed status to 201 races. This is the first year the Committee is responsible for assigning Listed status. A total of five graded races were upgraded, including two new Grade I races and three new Grade II races; one new Grade II race and six new Grade III races were upgraded from Listed status. Nine races which carried graded status in 2012 are no longer eligible for grading.
Three races were downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2013: the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park, Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct and Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Four races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2013: the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Colonial Turf Cup Stakes (from Listed) at Colonial Downs, Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar and Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Seven races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2013: the Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct, W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder Race Course, General George Handicap at Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
The Kentucky Cup Stakes at Turfway Park was not eligible for grading in 2013.
Six races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2013: the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, Arlington Classic Stakes at Arlington Park, Gallant Bob Stakes. and Parx Dash at Parx Racing and Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs.
Six races were downgraded from Grade III to Listed status for 2013: the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes and Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park, Spend A Buck Handicap at Calder Race Course, Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs, Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park and Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct.
The La Habra Stakes, San Rafael Stakes and Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park, Kentucky Cup Stakes, Kentucky Cup Distaff, Kentucky Cup Sprint and Turfway Park Fall Championship at Turfway Park and Kentucky Juvenile and Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill Downs were not eligible for grading in 2013.
Fifteen races were downgraded from Listed to non-Listed Black Type status for 2013: the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park, Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park, Zia Park Derby at Zia Park, Sophomore Sprint, Memorial Day Handicap, Summer Finale, Decoration Day Handicap and Firecracker Stakes at Mountaineer Park, Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Rumson Stakes at Monmouth Park, San Juan County Commissioners at SunRay Park, Brandywine Stakes at Parx Racing, Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at Prairie Meadows and Femme Fatale Stakes and Red Carpet Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
Following is a summary breakdown of all grade levels and a complete list of all upgraded and downgraded U.S. races for the 2013 racing season as well as the complete list of 2013 graded and listed stakes.
2013 Graded Stakes Number % Graded %Eligible Change from 2012
All Graded and Listed Races 658
TOBA American Graded Stakes Committee
Summary of Decisions Made at November 28, 2012 Grading Session
RACES UPGRADED FOR 2013:
Florida Oaks (T)
Older Fillies and Mares
Monrovia S. (T)
Three Chimneys Hopeful S. (Saratoga)
Dania Beach S. (T) (Gulfstream Park)
Arlington Classic S. (T) (Arlington Park)
Gallant Bob S.
Ft. Lauderdale S. (T) (Gulfstream Park)
Colonial Turf Cup S. (T) (Colonial Downs)
Parx Dash H. (T)
RACES DOWNGRADED FOR 2013:
Arlington-Washington Lassie S. (Arlington Park)
Prairie Gold Lassie S.
Femme Fatale S.
La Habra S.
Older Fillies and Mares
Santa Monica S.
Robert J. Frankel S. (T)
Summer Finale S. (T)
Decoration Day H. (T)
Firecracker S. (T)
Red Carpet S. (T) (Penn National)
Kentucky Cup Distaff S.
Locust Grove H. (T)
Hollywood Juvenile Championship S. (Betfair Hollywood Park) Grade III to Listed
Gold Rush Futurity
Kentucky Juvenile S. (Churchill Downs)
Mine That Bird Derby
Zia Park Derby
Sophomore Sprint S.
San Rafael S.
Kentucky Cup Sprint S.
Charles Whittingham Memorial H. (T) (Betfair Hollywood Park) Grade I to Grade II
Red Smith H. (T)
W.L. McKnight H. (T)
General George H.
Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship S. (Gulfstream Park)
Spend A Buck H. (Calder Race Course) Grade III to Listed
San Juan County Commissioners H. (SunRay Park)
Memorial Day H.
Kentucky Cup S. (Turfway Park) not eligible
Turfway Park Fall Championship S. (Turfway Park) not eligible
Thunder Road S. (T)