The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association released its listing of U.S. graded and listed stakes races for 2021, the results of its annual grading session conducted Dec. 15-16. A single race, the Saratoga Derby Invitational S. at Saratoga, was upgraded to Grade I status for 2021. No races were downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2021.
The committee evaluated races conducted following the 2019 Breeders' Cup through Mar. 15 as normal, and races conducted after March 15 were evaluated as normal, as well, but took care to consider any pandemic-related circumstances that may have affected, positively or negatively, the 2020 renewal.
The Committee reviewed 849 U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, assigning graded status to 445 of them, three fewer than were graded in 2020, and listed status to 193 races.
Three races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2021: the Red Smith S. at Aqueduct and Franklin-Simpson S. and Kentucky Turf Cup S. at Kentucky Downs.
Three races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2021: the Knickerbocker S. at Belmont Park and Palos Verdes S. and Las Virgenes S. at Santa Anita Park.
Four races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2021: the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint S. at Gulfstream Park; Tourist Mile S. at Kentucky Downs; Caress S. and Saratoga Oaks Invitational S. at Saratoga.
Five races were downgraded from Grade III to listed status for 2021: the Discovery S. at Aqueduct; Palm Beach S. and Rampart S. at Gulfstream Park; Red Bank S. at Monmouth Park; and Senator Ken Maddy S. at Santa Anita Park.
A total of 12 races were upgraded to listed status for 2021: the CTT and TOC S. at Del Mar; Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf S. and Kentucky Downs Preview Tourist Mile S. at Ellis Park; Pago Hop S. and Tom Benson Memorial S. at Fair Grounds; Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs; Oaklawn Mile S. and Oaklawn S. at Oaklawn Park; Desert Code S. at Santa Anita Park; Mahony S. at Saratoga; Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs; and Kentucky Cup Classic S. at Turfway Park.
Five races were downgraded from listed to non-listed black-type status for 2021: Correction S. at Aqueduct; Delta Mile S. at Delta Downs; Azalea S. at Gulfstream Park; Dixie Belle S. at Oaklawn Park; and John Battaglia Memorial S. at Turfway Park.
The Arlington Classic S., Arlington Matron S. and Stars and Stripes S. at Arlington Park; the C.E.R.F. S., Daisycutter H., Osunitas S. and Wickerr S. at Del Mar; Skip Away S. at Gulfstream Park; Maxxam Gold Cup S. at Sam Houston Race Park; Lone Star Park H. at Lone Star Park; Iowa Distaff S. and Saylorville S. at Prairie Meadows; and Adoration S., Black Pearl S. and Midnight Lute S. at Santa Anita Park were not eligible for grading in 2021.