08/19/2001 11:00PM

Foal loss for '02 put at 5 pecent

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Jockey Club is projecting a 2002 North American registered foal crop of 35,600, a drop of nearly 5 percent largely caused by losses from Kentucky's mare reproductive loss syndrome.

"At this point, no one knows the exact extent to which MRLS will impact next year's foal crop," The Jockey Club's vice-president for registration, Matt Iuliano, said in a release issued Monday.

"Disparate estimates exist, although the most consistent figure quoted to us is that 20 percent of the mares bred in Kentucky this spring lost their pregnancies due to MRLS."

MRLS, whose cause is still unknown, caused at least 1,200 mares, mostly in central Kentucky, to abort both early and late-term fetuses from April through late June.

Iuliano said that The Jockey Club will mail its 2002 live foal/no foal report forms to Kentucky mare owners in September.

The Jockey Club currently is projecting a 2001 registered foal crop of 37,300, based on the reports of mares bred it has so far received for the 2001 breeding season. The projected 2000 registered foal crop is 36,700, up from the 1999 projected crop of 36,500.