Fifteen of the most recent 25 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners were reported as being sold at public auction one or more times prior to their victories in the Run for the Roses.
The most expensive was 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who brought $4 million at the now defunct Keeneland July select yearling auction in 1998. But many others sold for bargain prices. They included 2009 Derby winner Mine That Bird, who brought only $9,500 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale; 2003 Derby winner Funny Cide, who brought $22,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale in 2001; and 2002 Derby winner War Emblem, who brought $20,000 at the Keeneland Spetember yearling sale in 2000.
Below is a list of the 25 most recent Derby winners and their sale (or lack of sale) histories:
2009, Mine That Bird - Scratched from the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2007; $9,500 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale yearling in 2007.
2008, Big Brown - Scratched form the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2006; $60,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale yearling in 2006; $190,000 Keeneland April sale 2-year-old in 2007.
2007, Street Sense - James Tafel homebred.
2006, Barbaro - Lael Stables homebred.
2005, Giacamo - Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss homebred.
2004, Smarty Jones - Someday Farm homebred.
2003, Funny Cide -- $22,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred preferred sale yearling in 2001; Scratched from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training in 2002.
2002, War Emblem -- $20,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 2000.
2001, Monarchos -- $90,000 buy-back at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in 1999; $170,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale 2-year-old in 2000.
2000, Fusaichi Pegasus -- $4 million Keeneland July select sale yearling in 1998.
1999, Charismatic - Not offered at public auction, but not a homebred.
1998, Real Quiet -- $17,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 1996.
1997, Silver Charm -- $16,500 Ocala Breeders's Sales Co. August sale yearling in 1995; $100,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale 2-year-old in 1996.
1996, Grindstone - Overbrook Farm homebred.
1995, Thunder Gulch -- $40,000 Keeneland July select sale yearling in 1993; $120,000 buy-back at the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training in 1994.
1994, Go for Gin -- $32,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale weanling in 1991; $150,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sale yearling in 1992.
1993, Sea Hero - Rokeby Stable homebred.
1992, Lil E. Tee -- $25,000 Ocala Breeders Sales Co. spring sale 2-year-old in 1991.
1991, Strike the Gold - Not a homebred, but not offered at public auction prior to the Derby.
1990, Unbridled -- $70,000 Tartan-Nerud November dispersal (at Faig-Tipton Kentucky) weanling in 1987.
1989, Sunday Silence -- $17,000 buy-back at the Keeneland July select yearling sale in 1987; $32,000 California Thoroughbred Sales March sale 2-year-old in 1988.
1988, Winning Colors -- $575,000 Keeneland July select sale yearling in 1986.
1987, Alysheba -- $500,000 Keeneland July select sale yearling in 1985.
1986, Ferdinand-Mr. and Mrs. Howard Keck homebred.
1985, Spend a Buck - Not a homebred, but not sold at public auction.