01/30/2009 1:00AM

Two Canadian stakes lose grade


The Marine Stakes at Woodbine and the British Columbia Oaks at Hastings, both of which were run as Grade 3 races last year, have been dropped from the Canadian graded stakes rankings this year.

The demotions of the Marine, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, and the B.C. Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, were the only changes made by the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee for 2009.

Woodbine will be the site of 31 of Canada's 35 graded stakes, headed by four Grade 1's - the Canadian International, E.P. Taylor, Woodbine Mile, and Northern Dancer Turf.

Hastings will offer three Grade 3 races - the British Columbia Derby, B.C. Premiers, and Ballerina. Northlands Park will host the Grade 3 Canadian Derby.