02/04/2004 12:00AM

38 graded races in Canada


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The 2004 Canadian graded stakes list, which comprises 38 races, was released Wednesday by the Jockey Club of Canada's Canadian Graded Stakes Committee.

The Selene Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine, has been downgraded to Grade 2 status this year. The Selene had been a Grade 1 since the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee announced its first rankings in 1999.

Canada now has three Grade 1 races: the Pattison Canadian International, Atto Mile, and E.P. Taylor, all of which will be run on turf at Woodbine. Woodbine will also host all 10 of Canada's Grade 2 events.

The British Columbia Derby, which had been a Grade 2 race, now will be one of five Grade 3 stakes at Hastings Park in Vancouver. The only other Canadian racetrack that will host a graded stakes this year is Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta, which will run the Grade 3 Canadian Derby.

The Alberta Derby, run at Stampede Park in Calgary, and the Manitoba Derby, run at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, both lost their Grade 3 status this year.

Two Woodbine stakes were also demoted: the Nassau dropped a notch to Grade 3, and the Ontario Derby lost its Grade 3 status. The only new graded stakes race this year is the Seaway at Woodbine, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares.