The Jockey Club released its annual Report of Mares Bred (RMB) this week, revealing that three of super-stallion Into Mischief’s offspring serviced the most mares during the 2021 breeding season.

Goldencents-Prolific sire
Spendthrift Farm’s Goldencents was the most prolific stallion in terms of mares bred in 2021. The Jockey Club reported he covered 230 mares during breeding season. (Image: David Coyle)

Goldencents, the 2012 and 2013 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, led the stallion parade, covering 230 mares this year. Right behind him was 2020 Horse of the Year Authentic (229). Not far behind the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion was Practical Joke (223).

Goldencents led the third-crop sire tables in 2020, with his progeny racking up $6,653,183 on the track. Spendthrift Farm responded to that success by cutting his fee from $25,000 in 2020 to $15,000 this year. His Spendthrift stablemate, Authentic, stood for $70,000 in his first year at stud.

As for Spendthrift’s ever-popular Into Mischief, he was tied for eighth with 214 mares. He led the mares-bred category in 2017 and 2018 when he covered a career-best 296 mares. This year, breeders paid $225,000 for the privilege of mating their mares with Into Mischief. In 2022, they’ll pay $250,000.

Spendthrift Farm played host to the hottest stallions

Spendthrift’s stallions made up six of the top 10. Into Mischief and sons Goldencents, Authentic, Practical Joke, Instagrand (190), and Audible (189) by themselves bred a combined 1,275 mares.

All told, 12 stallions covered at least 200 mares this year. Bringing up the rear of that list, tied with Mo Town at 204 mares bred, was 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. His stud fee took a hit for 2022, dropping $20,000 to $80,000. It was as high as $200,000 when his stallion career began in 2016.

One of the most dramatic leaps up the mares-bred list came from Maclean’s Music. He nearly quadrupled his 2020 stallion performance, jumping from 57 mares in 2020 to 221 in 2021. He sits fifth on the list. Largely on the fast heels of multiple stakes-winning progeny Jackie’s Warrior, Maclean’s Music’s improving tune brought a doubling in his stud fees for 2022, from $25,000 to $50,000.

There are ominous signs amid the breeding ‘frenzy’

Not surprisingly, all of the above stallions are Kentucky-breds. You have to drop to the 53rd spot to find a non-Kentucky stallion. That was New York’s Honest Mischief, at 127.

Top Stallions by Mares Bred-2021

Stallion Mares Bred
Goldencents 230
Authentic 229
Practical Joke 223
Vekoma 222
Maclean’s Music 221
Munnings 217
Omaha Beach 215
Into Mischief, McKinzie 214
Mitole 208
American Pharoah, Mo Town 204

Source: The Jockey Club

The Jockey Club reported in its release that 1,016 stallions covered 27,829 mares in North America this year. The organization expects another 2,500 to 3,500 mares to be reported as bred in 2021.

While this sounds impressive, it represents a 0.5% drop in reported mares bred at this time last year. It also follows The Jockey Club’s announcement last month that 2022’s projected foal crop is 18,700. Not only does that represent a 2.6% drop from 2021, but it also represents the smallest foal crop since 1965.