01/16/2004 12:00AM

Cup foal nominations rise

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The number of foals nominated to the Breeders' Cup rose 7.3 percent in 2003, reversing a decline caused by Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, Breeders' Cup announced on Friday.

Foal nominations were 14,927 last year, compared with 13,910 in 2002. The numbers have not fully recovered from 2001, however, when foal nominations were 15,104.

Nominations to the Breeders' Cup dropped off in 2002 because of a sharp increase in late-term abortions in central Kentucky mares, a phenomenon that is still poorly understood.

Foal nominations to the Breeders' Cup cost $500, entitling the horse to eligibility for Breeders' Cup races for its lifetime.

Breeders' Cup said that revenue from foal nominations in 2003 was $7,463,500, the fourth-highest number since the Breeders' Cup nomination process was started in 1982.