The club anticipates a 2010 crop of 30,000, the lowest since 1977, when 30,036 Thoroughbred foals were registered. The projection is computed by using Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) received to date for the 2009 breeding season.
The club also revised its original estimate of registered foals for 2009 from 35,400 to 34,000.
"Foal crop is the result of many factors, the general state of the economy certainly being one of them," says Bob Curran Jr., Jockey Club vice president for corporate communications.
Except for 2002, when Mare Reproduction Loss Syndrome (MRLS) diminished the foal crop by about 2,000, the North American registered foal crap was stable at more than 37,000 annually from 2000 through 2007.
"The number of mares bred has declined annually beginning in 2006, and the rate of that decline has accelerated in each of the last two breeding seasons," says Matt Iuliano, Jockey Club vice president for registration services. "These declines will have an obvious impact in the years ahead, most notably at the racetrack, where, on average, 70 percent of registered foals make at least one career start."
Additional foal crop information is available in the club's Online Fact Book, accessible here.