The Jockey Club of Canada’s Graded Stakes Committee held its annual review of the Graded and Listed Stakes in Canada.  The Committee upgraded one Listed race bringing the total to 44 Graded Stakes in Canada for 2015.

The Graded Stakes Committee meeting, conducted by Committee Chair, Jeff Begg with all Committee Members as well as Chief Steward, Jim Lawson and the race secretaries from Hastings Racecourse, Northlands Park and Woodbine Racetrack, was held on Tuesday,  January 27, 2015.

After reviewing the NARC and RQS figures for all Graded and Listed races in Canada, the Committee determined that the Marine Stakes at Woodbine would be upgraded from a Listed Stakes to a Grade 3 Stakes in 2015 with the recommendation that the purse be bumped to be consistent with the other Grade 3 races at Woodbine.  The status for all other Graded and Listed Stakes in Canada will remain unchanged in 2015 (see listing below).  Canada will host four Grade 1, 16 Grade 2 and 24 Grade 3 races in 2015.  List of Graded Stakes in Canada 2015 Click Here

Strut the Course - G3 Maple Leaf Stakes Michael Burns Photo

Strut the Course – G3 Maple Leaf Stakes
Michael Burns Photo

The Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee evaluates and reviews the Graded and Listed Stakes in Canada annually and determines whether races should be upgraded, downgraded or remain the same. The Committee bases their decisions on the cumulative NARC ratings for five consecutive years along with the new Race Quality Score (RQS) figures introduced last year by the North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAICSC).

Graded and Listed Stakes in North America must maintain a minimum purse and minimum cumulative NARC rating to retain or be considered as a Graded or Listed race.

Changes to the requirements for stakes in North America to receive non-listed black type in SITA catalogues (those compliant with guidelines required by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers) were implemented by the North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAISCS) in 2014.

The primary change to the requirements was the implementation of the Race Quality Score (RQS) as an additional quality control for non-listed black-type races in North America.

Non-Listed Black-type races include open stakes races with a purse of $50,000 to $74,999 available for distribution on the day of the race and all stakes races with a purse of $50,000 or more that have a restriction allowed by NAISCS (i.e. state bred, stallions’ progeny, sales graduates or non-winners of a sweepstakes) that have or exceed a minimum Race Quality Score (RQS) requirement for individual age/sex division.

The RQS is the average of the Annual Race Quality Score for each of a race’s last three renewals.  The Annual Race Quality Score is the combination of the speed figures assigned to a race by Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS), Daily Racing Form (Beyer), Equibase and Thoro-Graph and is calculated within 30 days after the date of the race. The speed figure assigned to a race is the average of the speed figure assigned to each of the top four placed horses in the race.

Non-Listed black-type races that receive an RQS below the minimum age/sex requirements and have a three-year cumulative RQS below the minimum requirements will automatically lose their black-type status without evaluation.  The Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee has been made responsible for informing host racetracks of any black-type races that do not meet the RQS requirement and subsequently have lost their black-type status.  The Committee will also communicate a warning to host tracks if a race is at risk of losing their black-type status in any given year.

The Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee reports that the following Stakes races in Canada have lost Black-type status effective 2015:

Alberta Breeders’ Handicap – Northlands Park
CTHS Sales Stakes – 3YO Males – Hastings Racecourse
Freedom of the City S. – Northlands Park
Northlands Oaks – Northlands Park
Redekop BC Cup Classic H. – Hastings Racecourse
Sonoma Handicap – Northlands Park
Western Canada H. – Northlands Park

The following Black-Type Stakes Races are at risk of losing their black-type status in 2016 if the minimum age/sex RQS and the minimum cumulative RQS is not achieved in 2015:

BC Cup Nursery – Hastings Racecourse
Birdcatcher S. – Northlands Park
Chris Loseth H. – Hastings Racecourse
Count Latham H. – Northlands Park
Edmonton Juvenile – Northlands Park
Hard Rock Casino Vancouver H. – Hastings Racecourse
Jim Coleman Province S. – Hastings Racecourse
KY Alta S. – Northlands Park
Madamoiselle H. – Northlands Park
River Rock Casino H. – Hastings Racecourse
Wild Rose H. – Northlands Park

The following Stakes races in Canada had already lost their Black-Type status in Canada in 2014:

Alberta Oaks – Northlands Park
Beaufort Stakes – Northlands Park
Bird of Pay Stakes – Northlands Park
Buffalo Stakes – Assiniboia Downs
Chariot Chaser Handicap – Northlands Park
CTHS Sales Stakes – 3YO Filly Division – Hastings Racecourse
Duchess of York Handicap – Northlands Park
Fall Classic Distaff Handicap – Northlands Park
J. W. Sifton Stakes – Assiniboia Downs
Matron Stakes – Assiniboia Downs
R.C. Anderson Stakes – Assiniboia Downs
R.K. (Red) Smith Handicap – Northlands Park
Red Diamond Express Handicap – Northlands Park
Sturgeon River Stakes – Northlands Park
Sun Sprint Championship Handicap – Northlands Park
Three and Four Year Old Filly Sales Stakes – Northlands Park
Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes – Northlands Park
Two Year Old Sales Stakes – Northlands Park
With Approval Stakes – Woodbine Racetrack

Any new stakes races created and existing races with material changes to their conditions must now be submitted to the NAICSC for review and black-type approval no less than 30 days prior to the day the new race or changed race is to be run.   New stakes races with a purse of less than $75,000 available to all entries must run twice under essentially the same conditions before being evaluated for black-type status.

For complete information on the RQS Black-Type requirements and/or for Black-type race status updates go to www.northamericanicsc.com or contact Jeff Begg, Graded Stakes Committee Chair at The Jockey Club of Canada 416-675-7756 or jockeyclub@bellnet.ca.

The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as the international representative of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport including the general public by operations and services such as, but not limited to: evaluating all Graded, Listed and Black-type races in Canada annually; conducting the annual Sovereign Awards for outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada; maintaining a field office in Canada for the Jockey Club of the United States and the Jockey Club Registry Service; and by representing Canada as a Member of the IFHA.