Report on live foals released; Maryland continues growth

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017

The overall number of live Thoroughbred foals in North America reported through Sept. 13 is down 1.7% compared with the same period last year, according to The Jockey Club, but the number is up 21.7% in Maryland.

The statistics show that 1,863 stallions covered 36,045 mares in 2016 during the period. The Jockey Club reported 21,624 live foals through Sept. 13 based on Live Foal Reports; at this time last year there were 21,991 live foals.

There were 2,467 No Foal Reports. As reported earlier, The Jockey Club expects this year’s registered foal crop to be about 22,500.

Of the top 10 states by mares bred in 2016, Maryland is one of three that posted an increase in 2017 live foals—and led the way by percentage of increase. Through Sept. 13 Maryland had 500 live foals, up 21.7% from 411 at the same time last year.

Kentucky was second with a 1.7% increase (12,393 this year versus 12,184 in 2016), while California’s number of live foals inched up 0.3% to 1,726 from 1,720, according to the statistics.

The Thoroughbred foal crop in Maryland continues to increase as a result of increased revenue for purses and breeding development as a result of a dedicated share of casino revenue and because of stability brought about by a 10-year agreement among all industry stakeholders.

As for other Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions in the top 10 by 2016 mares bred, New York showed a 3% decline in live foals (912) compared with the same period last year, while in Pennsylvania the number of live foals (289) is down 17.2%, according to the statistics.

“It is important to note that the live foals reported in The Jockey Club breeding statistics are by conception area and do not represent the state in which a foal was born,” Matt Iuliano, Executive Vice President and Executive Director for The Jockey Club, said in a release. “Breeding statistics also are not a representation of a stallion’s fertility record.”

The number of stallions dropped 3.1% from the 1,923 reported for 2015 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 2.5% from the 36,964 reported for 2015.

Kentucky each year leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 49.7 percent of the mares reported bred in North America in 2016 and 57.3 percent of the live foals reported for 2017.

The Jockey Club said the Report of Mares Bred will be released in October.

(Photo by Jessica Hammond)