Graded stakes are the upper echelon in horse racing, the major leagues.
They are further divided into Grade 3s (the lowest level), Grade 2s and Grade 1s (the highest level).
The Kentucky Derby is, of course, a Grade 1, as are the other two races making up the Triple Crown.
What are the different classes in horse racing?
Class 1 to 7
|Class||Race Type||Minimum Purse (2yo)|
|2||86-100, 91-105 and 96-110 Handicaps||£25,500|
|2||Open Nursery Handicaps||£25,500|
|2||0-95 Classified Stakes||£25,500|
|2||Maidens and Novices’||£14,000|
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What is a Class 1 horse race?
The highest level is a Group 1 race; these are the highlight events on the racing calendar. Group 1 races are a test of class and all the horses run off level weights but allowances are given for three-year-old horses against older horses and for fillies and mares against colts and geldings.
What does back Class mean in horse racing?
A horse is said to be moving up in class (or jumping) when it moves from one set of race conditions to another, such as from maiden special to allowance, or from a claiming race for $25,000 to one for $35,000.
What is an allowance horse race?
An allowance race is one in which the runners run for a higher purse than in a maiden race. These races usually involve conditions such as “non-winner of three lifetime.” A claiming race is one in which the horses are all for sale for more or less the same price (the “claiming price”) up until shortly before the race.