10/07/2010 3:10PM

81 Grade 1's Down, 30 to Go


We're 72 percent of the way through the 2010 calendar of U.S. Grade 1 stakes, with 81 declared official and 30 still to be run. Here are the results so far, and the remaining schedule:

(Thanks as always for the sortable database of graded stakes at thoroughbredreport.com)

I've boldfaced the most recent victories by the horses, trainers and jockeys who head up the leaderboards, which look like this as of Oct. 8:


Of the four horses with three or more Grade 1 wins, only Proviso is scheduled to run before the Breeders' Cup (in the G1 First Lady at Keeneland Saturday). By virtue of her victory in the G1 Kilroe Mile, Proviso is also the only filly or mare to have won a U.S. Grade 1 race against males so far this year. As for unrestricted (by age or sex) Grade 1's, Quality Road is the national leader with three such victories, with Blame, Richard's Kid and Winchester the only other multiple unrestricted winners.

Among the trainers, Pletcher's 12 Grade 1's have come with eight different horses: Quality Road (3), Devil May Care (2), Life at Ten (2), Discreetly Mine, Eskendereya, Malibu Prayer, R Heat Lightning and Super Saver. Baffert has won two with Lookin at Lucky and Richard's Kid and one each with E Z's Gentleman, El Brujo, Gabby's Golden Gal and Misremembered.

Shirreffs has won five with Zenyatta plus the American Oaks with Harmonious. He appears to be the only trainer who has won Grade 1's on dirt (Apple Blossom), turf (Harmonious) and synthetic (Zenyatta's other four) this year. Pletcher's 12 have all been on dirt, while Baffert has won six on synthetics and two (Lookin at Lucky) on dirt.

Sadler has won his five Grade 1's with five different runners, none of them favorites: Crisp ($13.60, Santa Anita Oaks), Sidney's Candy ($9.60, Santa Anita Derby), Line of David ($36.60, Arkansas Derby), Mona de Momma ($19.20, Humana Distaff) and Tell a Kelly ($11.60, Del Mar Debutante.) Sadler's five Grade 1's this year match his total over the previous four years (one in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and two in 2008.)

Most of Smith's chart-topping 11 Grade 1's have come aboard Zenyatta (5) and Proviso (3), with one-shots on Drosselmeyer (Belmont), Jaycito (Norfolk), and Richard's Kid (Goodwood) completing his tally. All 10 of Velazquez's Grade 1's have come aboard Pletcher trainees -- all of the trainer's G1's except Super Saver's Kentucky Derby (Borel) and R Heat Lightning's Spinaway (Gomez), both races in which Velazquez rode a different Pletcher entrant (Devil May Care in the Derby, Stopspendingmaria in the Spinaway.) 

The 31 remaining Grade 1's include seven such races on Saturday; the 10 of the 14 Breeders' Cup races that are Grade 1's (the Marathon is a G3, the Turf Sprint, Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Turf Fillies are G2's); and a surprising 11 G1's after the Breeders' Cup.

[Update: Chart updated to reflect that the Citation at Hollywood is a Grade 2 race this year.)

Mr. B-52 More than 1 year ago
Read your Stronach column, this line really made me laugh -- "Thinking that horseplayers are going to start wagering on trillion-to-1 shots shows a fundamental misunderstanding of racing’s appeal and its customer base." I think we knew he had a "fundamental misunderstanding..." when the new Gulfstream Park made its debut. I went its first year and have never returned. To be fair, one good bet from Magna was the Magna 5. That bet was the idea of one of their HRTV analysts though, not Frank Stronach.
HZ Hackenbush More than 1 year ago
So, with the declining foal count, we can count on a reduced number of Grade 1 stakes, right? Right?
csk More than 1 year ago
great chart, Steve Zenyatta is likely horse of the year, no matter what happens from here on in, or better be Quality Road managed to lose at the Spa which seemed to have a record speed bias this season, so that's a big negative in my book against him, so who else could HOY be? had Zenyatta won 19 in a row in New York (and I was born in Brooklyn), she would be rightly considered the all time great that she is [I don't understand your thinking: If Zenyatta wins the Classic she'll be HOTY, but if QR or Blame or LAL beats her, why would she be? -SC]
YYZGUY More than 1 year ago
Thanks for compiling this information. John Sadler has certainly compiled a strong case to be a candidate for the Trainers Eclipse award. Five Grade 1's with 5 different horses. He looks to have a couple legitimate shots in the Breeders Cup, which would at least get him on the radar.
Monty Anderson More than 1 year ago
In regards to your column today about the QQ.....it really disappoints me as a racing fan that [one of the] leading voices in our sport is Frank Stronach, who should stick to manufacturing auto parts. I'm just a regular fan of the sport and I could figure this stuff out better. Stronach spouts about bringing new fans to the sport and then pretty much ruins two of the best tracks in the US (Gulfstream with its horrendous "renovation" and Santa Anita with a synthetic surface that made a mockery of two Breeders Cups, not to mention his total mismangement of Pimlico!!!!). The whole thing is unbelievable to me....I just hope someone with a purpose and a plan speaks up before the whole sport goes into the toilet. Thanks for listening.... Monty Anderson Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Tony V.: It appears that Mr. Rodriguez has the "Ancient Chinese Secret," which would explain his win percentage. Whether he's the only one who has this "Ancient Chinese Secret" remains to be seen. As far as the post-BC Grade 1's, the surprise to me is the Hollywood Turf Cup being carded one week after the Breeders' Cup! Personally, I would have scheduled this for later in the meet (probably around December 10) in an attempt to get Zenyatta to make one more start at Hollywood after the BC, this time on the turf at 1 1/2 Miles against what probably will be a good, but not overwhelming field of males on the grass. Otherwise, most of the Grade 1's noted have been after the BC for a while (except the Gazelle, which joined the late-season Grade 1's last year as NYRA put it there from what I read previously to have it possibly decide the three year old filly title), most notably the Hollywood Derby, which has traditionally been a great late-season test for three year olds on the turf, while the Clark only became a Grade 1 this year (it was a Grade 1 for one year in the 2000's as I recall) and has usually drawn a big field (it had a full field of 14 last year). The other three year old Grade 1's (Malibu and La Brea) are always traditionally run on the last week of the calendar year at Santa Anita as the first leg of the LaCanada series for soon-to-be-four year old fillies and the Strub for soon-to-be-four year olds.
tony v More than 1 year ago
A little off subject but as a NY bettor I can't take it anymore . How much longer is NYRA going to let Rudy R get away with whatever he's doing to these horse's . Todays 3rd race was the topper . Leading trainer @ 60percent . Cmon who are we kidding . This just ruins the sport I love and I've decided any race he's entered in I'm not playing . Its becoming an obvious joke and its bound to come crashing down ........
jerry More than 1 year ago
Could not agree with you more. Theres a trainer at Parx named Guerro with similar numbers. Seems stuff like this gets swept under the turf. Tracks are turning their heads; just as baseball did with steroids.
Greg B More than 1 year ago
"and a surprising 11 G1's after the Breeders' Cup." Even more surprising, 4 of those are restricted to three-year-olds. A three-year-old should have to beat older horses to earn a Grade 1 this late in the year. That's just one of many things that should be fixed in the graded stakes schedule.
mikemetro More than 1 year ago
Interestingly 5 of the top horses you have rated will be running in the BC Classic, only one in the Turf and F&M Sprint, and possibily 4 in the Ladys Classic depending where Evening Jewel runs. Class usually speaks for itself and there can be no better handicapping tool than this list?
Dave or Divot80 More than 1 year ago
11 G1's after the Breeders' Cup shocks me. What caliber of horses could be left at that point of the year that warrants G1? I feel that not only quality will be lacking but I fear the fields will be very small with several having only 5 or 6. Divot80