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Dec 03, 2010

Juvenile Turf elevated to Grade 1



Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf has been assigned the highest classification for a stakes race in the United States. The one-mile grass for two-year-olds is now a Grade 1 stakes, an advancement from Grade 2.

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced its listing of U.S. Graded Stakes for 2011. The committee has its annual meeting Wednesday in Lexington.

The $1 million Juvenile Turf is the only race that has been moved up to Grade 1. The $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon will be a Grade 2 stakes beginning in 2011 after being a Grade 3 race this year. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Turf Sprint were not reclassified and remain Grade 2 races.

Following a review of 689 unrestricted stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, the committee assigned graded status to 474 races, a reduction of 13 from 2010.

Joining the Marathon to Grade 2 status for 2011 are the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs and Presque Isle Downs Masters at Presque Isle Downs.

Five races will be Grade 3 stakes for 2011: the Charles Town Classic at Charles Town, Tampa Bay Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing, Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland and the Marshua's River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship during the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet is the only stakes to be downgraded from Grade 1 to 2.

Of the five races demoted from Grade 2 to 3 the best known is the $500,000 Lane's End for three-year-olds at Turfway Park. Others being downgraded are the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows, San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields and Allaire DuPont Distaff Handicap at Pimlico.

A total of 10 races lost their Grade 3 status and will be ungraded for 2011: the Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park, Tropical Park Derby at Calder Race Course, Chick Lang S. at Pimlico, Memorial Day Handicap at Calder Race Course, Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct, Robert F. Carey Memorial at Hawthorne Race Course, Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap at Calder, Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita and Stage Door Betty Handicap at Calder.

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