09/05/2001 11:00PM

Ashford stallions most active

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Ashford Stud, Coolmore Stud's Kentucky division, dominates The Jockey Club's report of breeding activity in 2000 with its stallions filling the list's top five spots.

Tale of the Cat headed the list with 176 mares bred, producing 124 live foals reported as of Aug. 31, 2001. Following that sire were four more Ashford stallions: Hennessy, with 166 mares bred, Stravinsky, 164, Southern Halo, 153, and Grand Slam, 149.

The Jockey Club vice president Matt Iuliano, cautioned that the 2001 foal crop count is not complete, as breeders have not yet submitted all of the expected live foal reports for 2001. Iuliano estimated that about 90 per cent of live foal reports have been submitted.

The Jockey Club statistics, issued Thursday afternoon, showed that, through August, a total of 4,554 stallions covered 64,338 mares in North America in 2000, producing 36,005 reported live foals as of Aug. 31. That is a decline of 1 percent in active stallions but an increase of 4 percent in mares bred. The final foal crop for 2001 is projected to be 37,300, up 2 percent from a projected 36,700 for 2000.

Kentucky led the nation in Thoroughbred breeding activity with 20,998 mares reported bred in 2000 and 13,693 live foals reported as of Aug. 31. Although the mares bred figure is up 5 percent, the live foals reported is down 1 percent, early evidence of the effects of late fetal losses in 2001 from mare reproductive loss syndrome.

Florida was second with 7,225 mares bred and 4,182 live foals reported , and California was third with 5,577 mares bred and 3,372 live foals reported. Rounding out the top five were Texas and Louisiana.