Progress: “Foal Crop” Continues to Decline

The Jockey Club (TJC) reports that we’re looking at yet another decline in next year’s North American “foal crop” – the disgusting phrase the industry uses for new Thoroughbreds coming into the system each year. TJC projects a “crop” of 18,500 for this year, 18,000 for next – a drop of 2.7%. Apparently, the NA “crop” has not been this low since 1964. In the U.S. alone, the estimated ’22 figure, 17,300, is half of what it was just 15 years ago. This, of course, is just another sign of the times. Says BloodHorse:

“Declining foal crops have corresponded with a decline in the number of U.S. races, which is down 28% from 2010 through 2022 and the number of starters is predictably down 34% during the same time frame.” But, the publication points out, “Purses in the U.S….reached a record at nearly $1.31 billion in 2022 and the average purses per starter is up 92% to $31,460 and the average purse per race is up 76% to $39,155 since 2010.”

So, all metrics (way) down, but purse money (way) up? Any guesses why? But of course it’s the massive corporate welfare keeping about three quarters of this vile industry afloat.

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  1. “At what point does doing the morally correct thing for the horse outweigh the need to have the highest priced yearling and….?” asks a DVM in his Letter to the Editor of TDN dated September 28, 2023.
    He asks this question about breeding and producing young horses that can or cannot withstand the rigors of training and racing beyond one year.

    There is no basic moral correctness in the industry that lies, cheats, hides horse kills and other injuries to horses and lobbies for corporate welfare, and more corporate welfare, to the tune of literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS since 2004 in Pennsylvania and I don’t have all the information at hand to say what year New York State started receiving corporate welfare through not only Video Lottery Terminal payments but also a long list of other deals made with NYS to get the bankrolling they want to keep swimming in cash.
    Also, I don’t have at hand the amounts of corporate welfare that the other states that have subsidized horseracing receive or what year(s) it started.
    There is nothing morally correct about an industry that puts people who abuse horses for a “living” on pedestals such as the Hall of Fame, which many of us refer to as the Hall of Shame.
    There is nothing morally correct about treating yearlings and two-year-olds as though they were fully matured horses and causing them to breakdown and keeping them running and, in some cases, winning by injecting the colts and fillies with painkillers and performance enhancing drugs, and, in some cases, illegal street drugs such as methamphetamines and cocaine.
    There is nothing morally correct about cheating the bettors. There is nothing morally correct about cheating the other contestants in the race out of the purse money they would have won if the certain “trainer” who was allowed to get away with doping violations had not been allowed to cheat with a “free pass” from the racing commissioners.
    Their is nothing morally correct about horseracing because it is rife with abuse. Rules are broken. Laws are broken. Horses’ bones are broken.
    The rich people in horseracing such as George Soros and Mike Repole, not to mention all of the others who have an ego trip that won’t quit, have no basic moral correctness.
    In horseracing, greed and ego reign supreme. Moral depravity is the word of the day — all day, every day.

  2. -I left this indutry and I quit betting on horses because I found I could no longer win.
    -I was no longer able to win because my handicapping became almost 100% ineffectual.
    -My handicapping became ineffectual because the past performances of the race entries were becoming either incomplete, or no longer valid.
    -The past performances were mostly invalid because of the increase of illegal and unreported drug use.
    -In turn, the ramp-up of the illegal drug use contributed greatly to fatalities and breakdowns.
    -The spate of fatalities and breakdowns led to an overall diminished interest in the ‘sport’
    -Because of the diminished interest in the ‘sport’, more race tracks were shuttered, less races run, less horses needed.
    -Less races run, less horses needed, less interest would mean, well, in most industries anyway, that they’d fold up.

    Not this one, though. Our tax dollars to the rescue.

    But the end is coming. When the rampant cheating becomes even more blatant and well known, which it will, I think most people will take the same route I did, and leave.

  3. There’s nothing like good news that keeps getting better to brighten our day:)
    Crash and burn, horse-killing industry.

    • I once worked as a groom for a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer at a training track. He hired me to groom four horses; three geldings and one mare. One of the geldings was named Crash And Burn. Maybe the name was spelled like Crash ‘N’ Burn. I don’t know the exact way his name was spelled but he was a really nice little horse. I would have loved to have been able to go on a trail ride with him because he was such a cool horse. He was very nice and had a great disposition like a backyard pleasure riding horse would have. I didn’t stay with the trainer long enough to go Long Acres and Bay Meadows, so I never saw any of them race.

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