2016 Kentucky Derby Contenders Auction Prices

2016 Kentucky Derby Contenders Auction Prices

© Benoit Photo

How much does it cost to purchase a Kentucky Derby contender at a public auction? As it turns out, quite a lot!

Of the horses currently among the top 25 Kentucky Derby contenders, none were sold at auction for less than $60,000–the price brought by Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Gun Runner–and twelve of them brought prices of $100,000 or more. Leading the way at the high end of the price range is Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) runner-up Mor Spirit, who sold for $650,000 as a 2yo-in-training in 2015, but that was after being sold as a yearling for just $85,000.

Among the fifteen Derby contenders that were sold at public auction, the average sale price was just over $250,000, with a median of $220,000. This might seem very expensive, but it actually falls in between the average price for a Derby contender from the last two Kentucky Derbies. In 2015, the average auction price for a Derby contender was just over $301,000, while in 2014, the average price was just under $180,000.

Of the ten 2016 Derby contenders that were not sold at public auction, one–Spiral Stakes (gr. III) winner Oscar Nominated–was purchased for $75,000 through a claiming race in 2015.

The complete list of Derby contenders and their most auction prices is as follows:

Mor Spirit – $650,000
Creator – $440,000
Destin – $400,000
Nyquist – $400,000
Brody’s Cause – $350,000
Majesto – $300,000
Laoban – $260,000
Mohaymen – $220,000
Mo Tom – $150,000
Tom’s Ready – $145,000
Exaggerator – $110,000
Adventist – $100,000
Dazzling Gem – $95,000
Suddenbreakingnews – $72,000
Gun Runner – $60,000
Cherry Wine – Never Sold
Danzing Candy – Never Sold
Fellowship – Never Sold
Lani – Never Sold
My Man Sam – Never Sold
Oscar Nominated – Never Sold (claimed for $75,000)
Outwork – Never Sold
Shagaf – Never Sold
Trojan Nation – Never Sold
Whitmore – Never Sold

Perhaps the greatest bargain in terms of money won compared to purchase price is Gun Runner, who has earned $906,920 off a purchase price of $60,000. Suddenbreakingnews has also done very well, earning $670,032 compared to a purchase price of $72,000. But even Mor Spirit has earned back his purchase price, winning $658,400 in purse money so far compared to his cost of $650,000.

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the Bloodhorse.com blog Unlocking Winners.

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