News Releases

Friday, October 05, 2001Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
If History Repeats Itself, Kentucky Foals of 2001 and 2002 Will Prosper

If history counts for anything, the Kentucky foals of 2001 and 2002 which survived the outbreak of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome this past spring should win just as many 2-year-old stakes races and make as many career starts when they get to the racetrack as the foals of 2000 will when they start racing next year.

Those were two encouraging trends that emerged when The Jockey Club, in its continuing effort to assess the potential impact of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS), researched and compiled statistics examining the racing performance of the foal crops of 1980 and 1981, since those foal crops also experienced a mysterious outbreak similar to foal loss syndrome.

“Speculation that this syndrome or something like it also afflicted the 1980 and ’81 Kentucky foal crops, albeit to a lesser degree, made us and several other organizations curious about the racing performance of those crops,” said Gary Carpenter, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “What we found was that racing performance was basically unaffected as foals from those two crops generally performed as well or better than foals from the crops preceding and following those years.”

The statistics compare two-year-old performance and lifetime performance of the Kentucky foal crop and the national foal crop for the individual years 1978 to 1987.

The percentage of Kentucky-bred starters from the foal crops of 1980 and ’81 that won stakes as two-year-olds was 3.5% and 3.9% respectively, as opposed to 3.4% and 3.9% for the crops of ’78 and ’79, and 4.1% and 3.2% for the crops of ’82 and ’83.

The percentage of Kentucky-bred starters from the foal crops of 1980 and ’81 that won stakes at any time in their career was 9.1% and 8.3% respectively. The rate among Kentucky foals of 1978 and ’79 was 8.7% and 9.8% while among Kentucky foals of ’82 and ’83 the rate dipped to 7.4% and 6.5%.

Lifetime starts per Kentucky-bred foals of 1980 and ’81 also remained steady in the face of consistent declines. Kentucky bred foals of 1980 and ’81 which made it to the races averaged 25.2 and 26.0 starts in their careers. Kentucky foals of 1978 and ’79 averaged 27.3 and 26.0 starts while Kentucky foals of 1982 and ’83 averaged 25.2 and 24.3 career starts.

“The Jockey Club, since its inception, has maintained a commitment to serve the industry and we are always glad to use our resources and our database to shed some light on an industry problem such as Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome,” Carpenter said.