Natalma upgraded to Grade 1 status for 2016

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TwinSpires Staff

January 28th, 2016

Edited Press Release

The Jockey Club of Canada’s Graded Stakes Committee held its annual review of the graded and listed stakes in Canada and while the number of Graded Stakes in Canada remains unchanged at 44 there is one notable upgrade for 2016.

The Graded Stakes Committee meeting was conducted by Committee Chair Jeff Begg with all committee members as well as the race secretaries from Hastings Racecourse, Northlands Park and Woodbine Racetrack, on Tuesday.

After reviewing the NARC figures for all graded and listed races in Canada, the committee determined that the Natalma Stakes at Woodbine would be upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status in 2016.

The status for all other graded and listed stakes in Canada will remain unchanged in 2016. Canada will now host five Grade 1, 15 Grade 2 and 24 Grade 3 races in 2016.

In the past five years some participants and some of the winners of the Natalma, a turf event for two-year-old fillies, have gone on to achieve awards and multiple graded wins such as:

2015 Natalma

  • Catch a Glimpse (winner) – Next out Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner, 2015 Sovereign and Eclipse Awards finalist for champion two-year-old filly
  • Gamble’s Ghost (second) and Caren (third) are both 2015 Sovereign Awards finalists for champion two-year-old filly


2014 Natalma

  • Don’t Leave Me (sixth) – Two-time Grade 3 winner and 2015 Sovereign finalist for champion three-year-old filly


2012 Natalma

  • Spring in the Air (second) – Grade 1 winner, 2012 Sovereign Award champion two-year-old filly
  • Kitten’s Dumplings (fourth) – Grade 1 winner


2011 Natalma

  • Dayatthespa (second) – Three-time Grade 1 winner, 2014 Eclipse Award champion turf female, 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner
  • Stephanie’s Kitten (third) – Five-time Grade 1 winner, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) winner, 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner, 2015 Eclipse Award finalist for champion turf female
  • Hard Not to Like (fifth) – Three-time Grade 1 winner, millionaire


2010 Natalma

  • More Than Real (second) – 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) winner


2009 Natalma

  • Biofuel (seventh) – 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year and Sovereign Award champion three-year-old filly, 2009 Sovereign Award co-champion two-year-old filly


The Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee evaluates and reviews the graded stakes in Canada annually and determines whether races should be upgraded, downgraded or remain the same. The committee base their decisions on the cumulative NARC ratings for five consecutive years.

The committee reported that the following stakes races in Canada have lost black-type status effective 2016:

Race   Track
Alberta Premier’s Futurity   Northlands Park
Edmonton Juvenile Stakes   Northlands Park
John Patrick Handicap   Northlands Park
Madamoiselle Handicap   Northlands Park
River Rock Casino Handicap   Hastings Racecourse
Two-Year-Old Filly Sales Stakes   Northlands Park
Wild Rose Handicap   Northlands Park


The following black-type stakes races are at risk of losing their black-type status in 2017 if the minimum age/sex RQS and the minimum cumulative RQS is not achieved in 2016:

Race   Track
Birdcatcher Stakes   Northlands Park
Chris Loseth Handicap   Hastings Racecourse
CTHS Sales Stakes – 2YO fillies   Hastings Racecourse
Emerald Downs Handicap   Hastings Racecourse
Princess Margaret Stakes   Northlands Park
Sir Winston Churchill Handicap   Hastings Racecourse


Graded Stakes for 2016 in Canada:

Grade 1

Canadian International   12fT   WO   3up
Woodbine Mile   8fT   WO   3up
Northern Dancer Turf   12fT   WO   3up
E.P. Taylor Stakes   10fT   WO   3up f/m
Natalma Stakes   8fT   WO   2yo f


Grade 2

Summer Stakes   8fT   WO   2yo
Sky Classic Stakes   11fT   WO   3up
Nijinsky Stakes   12fT   WO   3up
Play The King Stakes   7fT   WO   3up
Nearctic Stakes   6fT   WO   3up
King Edward Stakes   9fT   WO   3up
Highlander Stakes   6fT   WO   3up
Autumn Stakes   8.5f   WO   3up
Kennedy Road Stakes   6f   WO   3up
Bessarabian Stakes   7f    WO   3up f/m
Nassau Stakes   8.5fT   WO   3up f/m
Dance Smartly Stakes   9fT   WO   3up f/m
Canadian Stakes   9fT   WO   3up f/m
Connaught Cup Stakes   7fT   WO   4up
Eclipse Stakes   8.5f    WO   3up


Grade 3

Grey Stakes   8.5f   WO   2yo
Mazarine Stakes   8.5f   WO   2yo f
Marine Stakes   8.16f   WO   3yo
BC Premier’s H.   11f   Hst   3up
Bold Venture Stakes   6.5f   WO   3up
Seagram Cup Stakes   8.5f   WO   3up
Dominion Day H.   10f   WO   3up
Singspiel Stakes   12fT   WO   3up
Durham Cup Stakes   9f   WO   3up
Valedictory Stakes   14f   WO   3up
Vigil Stakes   7f   WO   3up
Ballerina Stakes   9f   Hst   3up f/m
Maple Leaf Stakes   10f   WO   3up f/m
Ontario Fashion Stakes   6f   WO   3up f/m
Seaway Stakes   7f   WO   3up f/m
Royal North Stakes   6fT   WO   3up f/m
Ontario Matron Stakes   8.5f   WO   3up f/m
Whimsical Stakes   6f    WO   3up f/m
Hendrie Stakes   6.5f   WO   4up f/m
Ontario Derby   9f   WO   3yo
British Columbia Derby   9f   Hst   3yo
Canadian Derby   11f   NP   3yo
Selene Stakes   8.5f   WO   3yo f
Ontario Colleen Stakes   8fT   WO   3yo f


The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as the international representative of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport.