Thrilling, exciting, and high-risk – Most Expensive Race Horses. If you’re a horse racing fan you’ll understand why this equestrian sport is loved by millions! Racehorses are amongst the most valuable horses in the world, and exchange hands for crazy amounts of money. But who are the world’s most expensive racehorses?
Thoroughbreds are undoubtedly the kings and queens of the horse racing world, and a top-class racehorse can attract a phenomenal price tag. Let’s take a look at why these horses are so expensive and how much a winning racehorse costs.
Why Is A Purebred Horse Price Higher?
Purebred horses, such as Thoroughbreds, tend to be much more expensive than crossbred horses. This is because they are selectively bred to enhance certain desirable characteristics. This can include appearance, temperament, or in the case of Thoroughbreds, physical stamina and speed.
What Factors Affect Racing Horse Price?
Many factors affect racing horse price, but the biggest ones are normally their pedigree and their form – how many races they have won. The pedigree is important as this looks at how much money their parents won while racing. It also takes into account other offspring of the same parents, to predict the likelihood of a horse winning a race.
The price can also vary according to the age and gender of a racehorse. Young horses which have not raced yet may be cheaper unless they have a very good pedigree. Entire male horses – stallions – can attract a huge price tag, as they can earn a lot of money at stud when retired from racing.
Top 8 Most Expensive Race Horses Revealed
So, let’s take a look at the 8 most expensive racehorses! You’ll be amazed at the prices that some of these horses have been sold for, but there is normally a good reason for it:
8: Jalil – $9.7 million
Jalil was just a yearling and had never raced when he was purchased for nearly $10 million. His high price tag was due to his pedigree – he was sired by Storm Cat, and the grandson of Northern Dancer.
Unfortunately, the gamble didn’t pay off, and Jalil was not a highly successful racehorse. He was retired to stand at stud but also failed to achieve notoriety here.
7: Snaafi Dancer – $10.2 million
The son of Northern Dancer, Snaafi Dancer was the first yearling to sell for over $10 million. Despite his impressive pedigree, he never raced – rumors say that he was ‘embarrassingly slow’!
Snaafi Dancer was then retired to stud but was found to have very low fertility rates. He sired just four foals, of which three went on to race at a low level.
6: Meydan City – $11.7 million
Meydan City is the first on the list to live up to his price tag! With a nice pedigree, he was snapped up as a yearling for $11.7 million. He came third in his first race and won his second race. He was also fairly successful as a stud – a nice return for a gamble on a yearling!
5: Seattle Dancer – $13.1 million – Most Expensive Race Horses
In 1985 Seattle Dancer became the most expensive yearling ever sold at public auction. Intense bidding between top owners and trainers pushed his price up to $13.1 million!
There is a good reason for this price – Seattle Dancer was sired by Nijinsky, the son of Northern Dancer. He raced five times, with two wins, before being retired to stud. Seattle Dancer was a highly successful stud, siring over 37 stakes winners.
4: The Green Monkey – $16.0 million
Another descendant of Northern Dancer, unfortunately, The Green Monkey did not live up to his expensive price. Sold as a two-year-old for $16 million, he never won a race and was not a big hit when retired to stud. His best progency was the 2015 Panama Triple Crown winner, Monkey Business
3: Shareef Dancer – $40.0 million
Now we’re into our top three, the prices really start to increase! Up to now, the top price tags have been yearlings or colts. Shareef Dancer was sold for $3.3 million as a yearling and quickly went on to achieve success in Group 1 races. He only raced five times but won nearly $200000 during his short career.
In 1983, Shareef Dancer was sold for $40.0 million – at the time a record price for a stallion prospect. His stud career was not spectacular, although he did sire some winners.
2: So You Think – $51.5 million
The second most expensive racehorse in the world is So You Think, a five-time Group 1 winner. This New Zealand-bred horse won two of the biggest races in Australia, plus the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot. This was his final race, before being retired to stud.
Now, it is difficult to find when and how this impressive price was achieved, as it was a private transaction. But the owners of So You Think now stand him at stud with a fee of $77,000 – so he is certainly earning his keep!
So You Think is one of the most successful racehorse sires of all time, with his progeny regularly attracting a high price at auction.
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Who Is The Most Expensive Racehorse?
1: Fusaichi Pegasus – $60 million
Former Kentucky Derby Winner, Fusaichi Pegasus is by far the most expensive racehorse, sold in 2000 for $60 million. He was highly valuable due to his sensational track record, with earnings of almost $2 million.
His stud career was not as outstanding as his racing career. He sired over 75 stakes winners and three Grade 1 stakes winners. However, his offspring was a disappointment considering his price, and his stud fee was lowered considerably before he retired from stud.
Most Expensive Race Horses Summary
So, as we’ve learned, some racehorses can be very expensive! However, they don’t always live up to the price paid, and buying a racehorse can be a big gamble. Pedigree plays a huge part in the price of a racehorse, with the offspring of famous sires sold for huge fees when they are just a yearling.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the most expensive racehorses! Perhaps your OTTB has a famous racehorse in their pedigree? Please add your comments below!