© Phalaris Project 2013-2017 - Last updated July 8, 2017 An interesting indicator of the change in the U.S. racing scene over the last four decades can be found in comparing the makeup of Grade 1 events from 1973, the first year that races were graded, through the present. A comparison is made through 2015. First, it can be noted that the number of Grade 1 events has varied dramatically, from just over 60 initially to over 120 in the 1980s, back to the current level of about 110 in recent years. A side effect of this is the disproportionate number of Grade 1 wins by 1980s- era horses and later compared to 1970s-era horses, as well as the tally of Grade 1 winners for 1980s-era sires compared to earlier times. Telling also is how the races that represent the pinnacle of U.S. racing have altered over this period of time. Compared to 1973, 2- year-old racing has been de-emphasized while filly/mare races and turf races have grown to a much larger proportion of the total. In terms of distance, races from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles in distance have become much more dominant among Grade 1 events, at the expense of longer races. Regarding true sprints - races shorter than 7 furlongs - all Grade 1 sprints prior to 1984 were 2-year-old races and it wasn't until 1999 that there was a Grade 1 race other than the Breeders' Cup Sprint open to 3-year- olds and up at less than seven furlongs. To see exact statistics of the makeup of U.S graded stakes since 1973, click the Compare All link. To see a detailed accounting of the Grade 1 races of 1973 and their 2015 status, click the Compare 1973/2015 link.   Made with MAGIX