08/22/2005 12:00AM

Forecast up for '06 crop

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Jockey Club projects that the North American foal crop will increase to 37,300 in 2006.

The projection is based on Reports of Mares Bred for the 2005 breeding season and represents a slight gain over the estimated 2005 registered foal crop of 37,200. That figure was level with The Jockey Club's projection for the 2004 foal crop. The foal crop size has increased slightly each year since 2002, when mare reproductive loss syndrome saw a drop of an estimated 2,000 foals from that crop, causing a 5 percent decline in the estimated crop size. Before the MRLS outbreak, North America's annual foal crop size had risen steadily since 1997, when it stood at 35,140 foals.

The Reports of Mares Bred, which The Jockey Club uses to make its projections, should be filed by Aug. 1 of each breeding year, and foals born from those matings should be registered within 12 months of their births. Because breeders can register foals late with a penalty fee, however, exact crop numbers are difficult to determine until the end of each crop's juvenile year. At that stage, most foals have been registered.

Bell elected to Jockey Club board

The Jockey Club has elected Lexington bloodstock agent Reynolds Bell Jr. to its board of stewards. Bell replaces Stuart S. Janney III, whose four-year term has expired.

Bell managed his family's Mill Ridge Farm for 15 years and now operates the Reynolds Bell Jr. Thoroughbred Services bloodstock agency, which he founded in 1992. A member of The Jockey Club since 2002, Bell currently serves as chairman of the Sales Integrity Task Force's monitoring committee. He also is vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and is a former president of the Thoroughbred Club of America.

The Jockey Club also announced that vice chairman William S. Farish and secretary James C. Brady have been

re-elected to four-year terms as stewards.

Montjeu filly brings $708K

The Deauville yearling sale in Deauville, France, got under way Sunday night with declines in the first of its four sessions. The opener's top price was 500,000 euros, or about $611,500, for a colt by Rock of Gibraltar out of the French-bred Top Ville mare Clara Bow. Shadwell France purchased the colt, who is a half-sibling to Group 1 winner Turtle Bowl, Group 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Turtle Bow, and stakes-placed Whitton Court.

Hip No. 213, a daughter of Montjeu and the Riverman mare Valley of Hope, topped that price Monday, selling for 580,000 euros, or about $708,992, to the DeBurgh/Farrington partnership. Valley of Hope is also the dam of Sister Bella, who finished third in the Irish Oaks, and three other winners.

Through its first two sessions, the auction had sold 149 of 204 lots, down from figures last year, when a 237-horse offering resulted in 190 horses sold. Gross receipts for the first two days fell 23 percent to about $20,629,085. Average price declined 2 percent, to approximately $138,451.

The sale was to continue through Aug. 24.

Eight six-figure horses at Ocala

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. began with a raft of six-figure horses at its opening session Monday in Ocala, Fla. The first day of selling - the selected portion of the catalog - rang up eight horses at $100,000 or more in its first few hours, led by a $175,000 colt from the first crop of Johannesburg. That lot, sold as Hip No. 65 in the Summerfield agency's consignment, went to Thornton Racing.

Other early sales above $100,000 included a $160,000 Halo's Image filly out of Fiesta Baby that agent Buzz Chace bought from Bridlewood Farm; a $150,000 Successful Appeal-Heart Ace colt that Hartley/DeRenzo bought from Michelle Redding (Grey Dawn Stables); a $130,000 Stormin Fever-Cozily colt that Murray Smith purchased from Kaizen Sales, agent; and a pair of $110,000 lots, one a Glitterman-Grab the Prize colt that Cam Allard and Allen Jenkins bought from Summerfield and the other a Yes It's True-Jellied Madrilene colt that Eisaman Equine purchased from Beth Bayer, agent.

Horses being dispersed by Farnsworth Farms were to sell at the end of the Monday session.

The sale was to continue at the OBS pavilion in Ocala through Aug. 26.