Graded stakes race

Graded stakes race

A graded stakes race is a term applied by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to a Thoroughbred horse race in the United States to describe races that derive their name from the stake, or entry fee, owners must pay. 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.

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.

The American Graded Stakes Committee uses as part 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 : Boldenone, Nandrolone, Stanozolol, and Testosterone are only allowed to be used*.
* Toe Grabs: Cannot be more than two millimeters long*.

* NOTE: *Goes into effect in 2009.

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.

Horseracing in the United Kingdom refers to them as conditions races.

U.S. Graded Stakes Races

Grade 1 (2008)

ee also

*List of horse races


* [ Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association]
** [ An Explanation of the American Graded Stakes Process]
** [ 2008 U.S. Graded Stakes Races]
** [ Graded stakes committee to require adoption of steroid, toe grab rules]

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