When the members of this year's field for the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) were yearlings in 2006, the most expensive horse sold that year at public auction was Meydan City, who brought $11.7 million. When they were 2-year-olds in 2007, the most expensive in their age group was The Leopard, who sold for $2.5 million.
Meydan City never raced, but The Leopard made it to the starting gate and he won last year's Generous (gr. IIIT) and Pilgrim Stakes. While neither made it to this year's Derby, a bunch of other less expensive horses did. That provides some encouragment to Thoroughbred buyers who don't have millions of dollars to spend but still dream of owning a 3-year-old that runs for the roses.
Of the 20 scheduled starters in the Run for the Roses, 13 went through an auction ring one or more times as a yearling or as a 2-year-old. Eight Belles brought the highest price, selling for $375,000 -- making her a bargain compared to Meydan City and The Leopard -- at the Keeneland September yearling sale. Court Vision was the second most expensive, selling for $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile auction after bring $180,000 as a Keeneland September yearling.
Cool Coal Man had the highest buy-back price: $850,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale as a 2-year-old after selling for $200,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September.
The least expensive was Bob Black Jack, who sold for $4,500 as a yearling at the Barretts January mixed sale.
Other sale horses in the Derby field, their prices, and the sales in which they were offered are:
Gayego: $32,000 Keeneland September yearling.
Big Brown: $60,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling; $190,000 Keeneland April 2-year-old.
Z Humor: $240,000 Keeneland September yearling.
Monba: $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling.
Z Fortune: $80,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling.
Recapturetheglory: $160,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling, $215,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old. (Also sold as a weanling for $130,000 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale).
Visionaire: $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling, $90,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select buy-back; $220,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. June 2-year-old.
Big Truck: $90,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old.
Denis of Cork: $120,000 Ocala Breeders' Sale Co. August yearling, $250,000 Barretts March select 2-year-old.