Since Canterbury Downs (now Canterbury Park) opened in 1985, the number of thoroughbred foals born and registered in Minnesota has ebbed and surged with the track’s fortunes. The more optimistic breeders are about Canterbury’s fiscal health and potential purses, the more foals they produce. The crop never has come close to matching the all-time high of 844, set in 1989, and has flattened since rebounding from an historic low of 96 foals in 2012.
Minnesota’s foal numbers also reflect a nationwide decline. The American thoroughbred foal crop has been cut nearly in half over the past 26 years, dwindling from 40,333 in 1990 to an estimated 20,850 in 2016.