There should be very little sympathy for those railing against the downgrading of the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, and Mother Goose on the list for 2017 released this week by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. To take offense at such perceived slights is to admit that you take the list seriously in the first place.But people do, and to cop an attitude tends to bring civilized discussion to an abrupt halt. Unfortunately, the deeply flawed but thoroughly institutionalized system of grading races has become so badly misinterpreted and misused that to nitpick at this point about a trio of iconic events seems a sad waste of time.So, lets waste some time together.When pressed, proponents of the system describe it as the best bad solution to what is a necessary categorization of the races most American owners, breeders, trainers, and jockeys would prefer to win anyway, graded or not.A search of the TOBA website will take the enterprising reader to a page entitled Explanation of Grading System Workbook. I wont dwell on specifics other than to note once again that three-quarters of the data helping to determine the grading of races are derived from the performances of horses in races already graded by the American Graded Stakes Committee.Embarrassed by this admission of a closed informational loop, the website offers an apology, sort of:? the Committee recognizes that these measurements tend to support the self-perpetuation of graded events, an effect that can compromise the evaluation process while magnifying the consequences of all grading decisions. Ya think?The fourth leg of data is comprised of Timeform-style performance ratings (NARC Rates). Numbers gleaned from the Thoro-Graph handicapping figures also are considered. Again, the site feels compelled to equivocate:? the Committee recognizes that NARC Rates are wholly dependent on the fallible methods and art of a small group of racing professionals.In the end, the industry is given reassurance that the 11 members of the American Graded Stakes Committee are wise and just and true, and that the grading process must finally depend on the integrity, experience, and judgment of the Committee members themselves.So, there you go. Faulty data in, faulty data out, leaving it to the 11 people who this time around decided that the Mother Goose, Wood Memorial, and Blue Grass were no longer to be considered among Americas elite events. Eight votes are required to elevate a race in graded rank, while only six are necessary for demotion.Those currently on the committee include its chairman, Dr. J. David Richardson, a Louisville surgeon; Reynolds Bell Jr., of Reynolds Bell Thoroughbred Services in Lexington; Everett Dobson, part owner of the NBAs Oklahoma City Thunder; Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm; Craig Bernick, president of Glen Hill Farm; J. Michael OFarrell, owner of Ocala Stud, and five racing department heads -- Martin Panza (NYRA), Tom Robbins (Del Mar), Rick Hammerle (Santa Anita), Georganne Hale (Maryland Jockey Club), and Ben Huffman (Churchill Downs).Any time spent in a room with these industry heavyweights would be a treat. Pity them for their task, however, as they wade through a mountain of dicey data whose only purpose seems to be self-justification. Integrity and wisdom go only so far in the face of such a daunting challenge. As a result ?Races are graded backward but penalize forward. The system trashes the histories of respected events while failing to take into consideration the modern shift in stakes-horse management. No fewer than 16 of the 107 Grade 1 ratings for 2017 are wasted on Triple Crown and Breeders Cup events, as if we need to be told. The graded race system meddles in the business of racetracks by imposing purse requirements, just as graded designations are put to all manner of uses for which they were not intended.The graded race system also has rewarded a racetrack for paying appearance fees to select owners and trainers above and beyond purse money. Hello, brand-new Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, with your noncompetitive September date and your $50,000 bonuses to participating owners and trainers whose horses have won the Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Haskell, or Travers.It is no surprise that the Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial have had depth-of-quality issues in recent years. The maniacal rush to make the Kentucky Derby field has diluted all the major 3-year-old races of the late winter and early spring, now clustered in a window four, five, or six weeks in advance of the first Saturday in May.The fate of the Wood is a direct result of Gulfstreams intense competition for the best of the Eastern colts, and its earlier date puts bad Northeastern weather more often into play. As for the Blue Grass, Keeneland made its own bed by temporarily surrendering its marquee event to the Polytrack experiment. Recovery is still in progress.The American Graded Stakes Committee would like to believe that its ratings are without consequences, that they are merely a dispassionate recognition of the facts on the ground. In reality, its decisions reverberate throughout the game.In 2016, both the Wood and the Blue Grass were worth $1 million and presented on the same day. What would the committee have them do to improve their product and regain the Grade 1 status their history merits? More money? More incentives?Or perhaps move them to September. Saquon Barkley Youth Jersey . -- Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings was selected Monday to his second straight Pro Bowl, while guard Kyle Long made it after a solid rookie season. Evan Engram Womens Jersey . Collaros, 25, was solid last season, posting a 5-2 record as the starter while incumbent Ricky Ray was injured. Collaros also started Torontos 23-20 regular-season finale loss to Montreal — Ray didnt dress because the Argos had already clinched first in the East Division — but was one of three quarterbacks to play that day. http://www.giantsrookiestore.com/Giants-Julian-Love-Jersey/ . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. Deandre Baker Youth Jersey . It is a cliché dragged out by fans and pundits regularly when discussions take place around which teams are better than others. Harry Carson Youth Jersey . The Dane followed up his first European Tour title last weekend with eight birdies and just a single dropped shot on Thursday for a one-stroke advantage over South Africas Allan Versfeld and Portugals Ricardo Santos. Karachi Blues 182 for 3 (Manzoor 70, Alam 67*) beat Karachi Whites 179 for 8 (Abbas 47, Nawaz 4-26) by three runs Scorecard and ball-by-ball details Karachi Whites threatened to chase down 183 with a rapid 61-run opening stand and late blows from Tariq Haroon and Sohail Khan, but Mohammad Nawaz defended ten runs off the final over to give Karachi Blues the title.With Whites needing 11 off the last over with four wickets in hand, Mohammad Hasan reverse-swept Nawazs first ball for four. Nawaz came back with a dot and then an arm-ball that took Hasans middle stump. Azam Hussain sliced a couple over the covers before falling lbw off the next ball. It ultimately boiled down to five off the last ball. Mir Hamza heaved at it, and could only manage a double.Nawaz, playing only his second game of the tournament, finished with figures of 4 for 26. He had taken the first two wickets of the Whites innings as well. He bowled Asif Zakir for 32, and in his next over removed Asad Shafiq for 6. The two wickets dragged Whites back after they had raced to 60 in the first seven overs.Nawaz was helped by his fellow spinnerrs - Saeed Ajmal, who capped the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps, and Mohammad Asghar.dddddddddddd They picked up two wickets each. Karachi Whites eventually got to 179 for 8 thanks to late cameos from Tariq and Sohail. Haroon hit 38 off 17 balls, while Sohail 24 off 11 balls.Blues win was set up by half-centuries from Khurram Manzoor and Fawad Alam. Alam set about reviving the innings after the early loss of the openers, with a brace of pulled fours. Manzoor, becalmed till then, struck three fours in four balls, and motored to his half-century in 36 balls, bringing it up in the 15th over. By then, Blues were 118 for 2.Manzoor kicked into a higher gear when he crashed back-to-back sixes off Azam in the 17th over. But he fell next ball, skewing a catch to gully. Alam then reached his own half-century off 35 balls, and was assisted by Mohammad Samis unbeaten 20 off 10 balls. Blues took 64 off the last five overs, and it proved just enough to deny Whites. ' ' '