The Jockey Club said Aug. 11 the North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop for 2013 should hold steady with the number in 2012.
The projection for 2013 is 24,700 foals, said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. The same number was projected for 2012.
The 2012 projection represented an 8.5% decline from 27,000 foals for 2011. The Jockey Club, however, revised the 2011 figure to 25,500 (down 5.2% from 2010), and also lowered the 2010 figure from 30,000 to 28,500 (down 5% from 2009).
"We have revised downward the estimates for the foal crops of 2010 and 2011 by 1,500 foals each," Iuliano said. "The rate of registered foals produced from the number of mares bred has not met historical rates for these two foal crops."
The foal crop estimate is produced by using reports of mares bred, which should be filed by Aug. 1 each year. The Jockey Club continues to accept reports of mares bred after that time, however.
The 2012 and 2013 foal crop projections for Thoroughbreds are the lowest since 1971, when 24,301 foals were registered.
The Jockey Club will discuss the foal crop numbers Aug. 12 during its Round Table conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Officials expressed some optimism given the fact the foal crop appears to be holding steady after years of declines; the total was about 38,000 in 2007.
The Jockey Club is developing programs to assist racetracks is maximizing horse populations and scheduling races. The declining number of foals already has begun impacting field size and number of racing dates at various tracks around the country.