1. Sports

Guided Tour winning the 2001 Stephen Foster Handicap which will be upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1 for 2002
Photo courtesy of Tina Hines

Graded Stakes Changes for 2002

Dateline: 11/30/01

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced its listing of 486 graded stakes for 2002 on Thursday after a two-day meeting in Lexington, Kentucky. The 486 races, up from 480 last year, were selected from a total 751 eligible races. Of the 486 graded races, there are 101 Grade 1s (20.8% of the total), 155 Grade 2s (31.9%) and 230 Grade 3s (47.3%).

While the number of Grade 1 stakes remained unchanged from last year at 101, the line-up of races was changed. Upgraded to from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status were the Wood Memorial, Keeneland Turf Mile, Stephen Foster Handicap and Humana Distaff. Downgraded back to Grade 2 status were the Jim Dandy Stakes, Oak Leaf Stakes, Super Derby and Swaps Stakes.

2002 Upgraded Races

Four races were upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1:
RaceTrack
Humana Distaff HandicapChurchill Downs
Keeneland Turf Mile StakesKeeneland
Stephen Foster HandicapChurchill Downs
Wood MemorialAqueduct

Five were upgraded from Grade 3 to Grade 2:

RaceTrack
Falls City HandicapChurchill Downs
Fleur de Lis HandicapChurchill Downs
Lazaro Barrera Memorial HandicapHollywood Park
Princess Rooney StakesCalder
Vagrancy HandicapBelmont Park

Thirteen races went from ungraded to Grade 3 status:

RaceTrack
Floral ParkBelmont Park
Indiana DerbyHoosier Park
Leonard Richards StakesDelaware Park
Lone Star DerbyLone Star Park
Long Branch StakesMonmouth Park
Louisville HandicapChurchill Downs
Memorial Day HandicapCalder
Miami Mile HandicapCalder
Miss Preakness StakesPimlico
Raven Run StakesKeeneland
Risen Star StakesFair Grounds
Tampa Bay DerbyTampa Bay Downs
West Virginia DerbyMountaineer Park

2002 Downgraded Races

Four races were lowered from Grade 1 to Grade 2:
RaceTrack
Jim Dandy StakesSaratoga
Super DerbyLouisiana Downs
Swaps StakesHollywood Park
Oak Leaf StakesSanta Anita

Seven were moved from Grade 2 to Grade 3:

RaceTrack
Arlington-Washington FuturityArlington
Bashford Manor StakesChurchill Downs
Bel Air HandicapHollywood Park
Fall Highweight HandicapAqueduct
Hawthorne HandicapHollywood Park
Kentucky Cup Sprint StakesTurfway Park
Railbird StakesHollywood Park

Three Grade 3 races lost their graded status:

RaceTrack
Laurel Turf Cup StakesLaurel
Reeve Schley Jr. StakesMonmouth Park
Round Table StakesArlington

The Sweetest Chant Stakes, previously a Grade 3 at Gulfstream Park, has been discontinued, and the William P. Kyne Handicap, previously a Grade 3 at Bay Meadows, is ineligible for graded status in 2002.

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