09/15/2005 12:00AM

Stallion books keep growing


Fewer stallions are covering more mares in North America, Jockey Club statistics for the 2004 breeding season show, continuing the trend of increasing stallion books.

The Jockey Club reported Thursday that 4,145 stallions covered 64,052 mares during the 2004 breeding season. That represented a 1.4 percent decrease in the number of active North American sires and a 1.4 percent increase in the numbers of mares bred. The Jockey Club bases these figures on Live Foal Reports it has received as of Sept. 8, 2005, and the group's officials estimate that about 90 percent of those reports are in by this point. So far, The Jockey Club also has received 7,519 No Foal Reports for the 2005 foaling season.

Kentucky stallions covered 31.9 percent of North American mares reported bred. That figure led the nation in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky also led in number of state-sired foals born in 2005, with 38.2 percent of North American Thoroughbreds sired by Kentucky stallions.

Kentucky's 2005 foal crop also rose from last year's. Figures show that 20,443 mares reported bred to Kentucky sires in 2004 produced 14,141 live foals this year; those figures rose 1.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Florida sires had the second largest live foal crop with 4,084.

Ranked by numbers of mares reported bred, the top 10 stallions in 2004 were Hold That Tiger (199 mares bred), Buddha (182), Fusaichi Pegasus (193), Grand Slam (191), Doneraile Court (184), Stormy Atlantic (183), Van Nistelrooy (186), Johannesburg (175), Tale of the Cat (185), and Vindication (140).