For First Time Since 2005, Foal Crop Does Not Decline


The Jockey Club is estimating the 2015 U.S. foal crop will be 20,300, precisely the same estimate it gave a year ago for the 2014 foal crop. Though the numbers are still down dramatically from peak years, the 20,300 figure is notable in that it represents the first time the foal crop did not decline on a year-to-year basis since 2005.

Including Puerto Rico and Canada, the annual North American foal crop in 2015 is estimated to be 22,000, also identical to 2014 estimates.

The numbers were posted yesterday on The Jockey Club's website as it released its annual Fact Book.

A total of 35,050 foals were born in the U.S. in 2005, but the numbers began to fall precipitously in subsequent years. Just 10 years later, in 2015, the foal crop had declined by 42 percent.

In other data now available through the Jockey Club Fact Book:

(*)–There were 17,265 mares bred in Kentucky in 2015, again making the Bluegrass State the runaway leader when it comes to the number of thoroughbreds bred. Florida was a distant second at 2,938. The number also represented a healthy increase of 10.5% when compared to 2013. However, the number for stallions in Kentucky has fallen from 2013, from 262 to 214. That would appear to indicate that people are losing interest in breeding to lower-end stallions.

(*)–The most popular stallion in the U.S. in terms of mares bred to in 2015 was Uncle Mo, who was bred to 221 mares. He was followed by Scat Daddy (217), Into Mischief (210) and Shanghai Bobby (202).

(*)–The number of U.S. races run in 2015 declined for the 11th straight year, to 38,941, a drop of 5.1%. As recently as 2004, 53,595 races were held. In 1989, 74,071 races were run in the U.S.

(*)–U.S. pari-mutuel handle rose slightly, to $10.6 billion, a 1.2% increase from 2014. However, the number is still off dramatically from a peak of $15.1 billion in 2003.

(*)–Both average field size and the average number of starts per horse held fairly steady. The average field size was 7.82, up slightly from 7.69. The average starts per horse figure was 6.18, down a hair from 2014 (6.22).

(*)–The amount of purse money paid out in 2015 was $1.09 billion, down slightly from 2014 ($1.11 billion). However, because there were fewer races run, the average purse per race showed an increase of more than $1,000. The number in 2015 was $28,085 and it was $26,933 in 2014.

(*)–In most categories, the sales showed healthy increases over 2014 numbers. A total of 6,674 yearlings were sold for a total of $437 million and an average of $65,591. That represented a 9.2% increase over 2014. The price of weanlings rose 17.3% and the price for 2-year-olds sold at auction went up by 11.9%. The only market to fall was the broodmare market. The average price paid per broodmare was $61,108, down 12.4 percent.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.