The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association said on Dec. 26 American Oaks – removed from the sod and run over dirt due to wet conditions in Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. – would return to its Rank 1. According to the rules of the AGS Committee, races contested on a surface different from that initially planned are automatically downgraded and reviewed for possible reinstatement.
The American Oaks, won by Queen Goddess, drew 11 participants. Only one original inscription was crossed out from the race, and it was not tied to the surface.
The committee also reinstated grade 2 for the Santa Anita Mathis Mile Stakes, held on the same day as the American Oaks. The law professor won the race in a field of eight. One horse, Zoffarelli, was scratched because of the change in surface.
A third issue running on Dec. 26, the San Gabriel, will remain a Grade 3 race for 2021 after being automatically demoted from Grade 2 when it was taken off the turf. Three of the original seven entries were scratched after the surface change, including morning line favorite Hit the Road.
The AGS committee will meet on January 26 and 27 to assign marks for 2022. The schedule is different from previous years where the committee would meet in early December, evaluating races held after the Breeders’ Cup from the previous year through to the Breeders’ Cup of the current year. .
The new calendar allows the committee to evaluate races for the entire calendar year.
Andy Schweigardt, senior director of industrial relations and development at TOBA and secretary of the AGS committee, said: Cup and before Dec. 31 could be included in scoring workbooks faster. As part of the statistical year of the old Breeders ‘Cup to Breeders’ Cup, a Thanksgiving weekend and the stats horses won would not be reflected in the workbooks until a year later.
Schweigardt said the 2022 ratings are expected to be announced on January 28 and will cover the period from February 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023.
For more information on how the rating process works, click here.
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