01/03/2008 1:00AM

Inspections find few early foals


The Jockey Club announced Thursday that its third year of field inspections of broodmares in 2007 found fewer foals born in late December than in the previous two years.

Field inspectors checked the status of broodmares with early 2007 breeding or foaling dates and found only three foals who had been born in late December, too early to allow them to be registered as members of the crop of 2008. That was down from six foals in late December of 2005 and 2006.

The Jockey Club began inspections in August 2005 after noting an increasing number of Thoroughbred foals reported as born in early January. The increase prompted concern that some breeders were inaccurately reporting late December foals as early members of the next season's crop in order not to disadvantage late-born foals. The 2007 inspections examined twice as many mares as in 2006, said Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Alan Marzelli, and took place in six states and one Canadian province. The field inspections will continue in 2008, he said.