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Prestigious stakes granted Grade I Status

The Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park and Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course have been granted grade I status by the American Graded Stakes Committee, which met Nov. 28 in Lexington.

The AGSC said it reviewed 673 unrestricted United States stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000 and assigned graded status to 457 of them, eight fewer than were graded in 2012. Listed status was given to 201 races; this is the first year the committee is charged with assessing listed status.

The Hopeful for 2-year-olds was downgraded from grade II to grade I for 2012 but has regained the top rating. This year's Delaware Handicap for fillies and mares was won by Royal Delta, who was voted champion 3-year-old filly of 2011 and is the favorite for champion older filly or mare of 2012.

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