A graded stakes race is a type of horse race that is classified according to the quality of the horses that are competing in it. This classification system is used in the United States, Canada, and some other countries. The races are graded as Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3, with Grade 1 being the highest level of competition.
To be classified as a graded stakes race, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include minimum purse size, the age and sex of the horses that are eligible to compete, and the number of previous wins or places of the horses. Graded stakes races are considered to be the most prestigious and lucrative horse races in the world.
The classification system is important for both breeders and bettors, as it helps to determine the value and potential of the horses. The higher the grade of the race, the more valuable the horses that compete in it. Bettors can use the classification to inform their wagers, as the level of competition will often have an impact on the odds of a particular horse winning.
Some of the most famous graded stakes races include the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, which together make up the Triple Crown. Other notable graded stakes races include the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Travers Stakes, and the Santa Anita Derby.