09/10/2008 11:00PM

Foal crop of '08 seen as down

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The active stallion and broodmare populations both decreased in 2007, the Jockey Club announced Thursday as it released North American breeding statistics for that covering season.

The organization, which runs the continent's Thoroughbred breed registry, reported that 3,638 stallions covered 61,262 mares, resulting in 34,561 live foals reported for 2008. The number of active stallions declined 6.3 percent from 3,881 reported for 2006 at this time last year, and the number of mares bred declined 3.7 percent from the 63,629 reported for 2006.

Kentucky led North American breeding activity. Its 358 stallions accounted for 35.8 percent of mares reported bred in 2007 and 43.5 percent of live foals of 2008 reported so far. Kentucky stallions covered 21,938 mares, for an average book size of 61 mares. Those matings have produced 15,040 live foals, up by 1.6 percent over last year's Kentucky-sired live foal number at this point in the year.

With live foal reporting for this year about 90 percent complete, the North American foal crop reported so far for 2008 is down 4.8 percent from the 2007 crop reported last September.

"The decline in live foals of 2008 reported to date corresponds to the decline in mares bred during 2007," said Matt Iuliano, a Jockey Club vice-president. "These factors led us to revise our registered foal crop projection for 2008 downward by 900 foals to 36,600."