Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The 20 horses who will linGe up in the starting gate to run for the roses this year are horses like any of the other 28,000 Thoroughbreds born in 2010. Some are homebreds: born and raised by the same owners in whose silks they run. Others are purchased through the auction ring, sometimes multiple times: I'll Have Another sold for $11k at the 2010 Keeneland Yearling sale and was "pinhooked" as a two-year-old in Ocala for $35k. That's a nifty profit in just seven months.
Few horses are purchased for vast sums at auction and go on to true greatness: $4 million yearling and eventual Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus is one of the rare exceptions. Several top horses actually didn't sell or had to be withdrawn: Sunday Silence was a $32k buy-back (or "RNA"); Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who raced as a homebred for Team Valor, was a $100k RNA at the 2009 Keeneland sale.