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Kentucky Derby Winners and Auction Prices


Fusaichi Pegasus, with an auction price of $4 million, remains the only Derby winner to sell at auction for over $1 million
Updated: 04/15/2018

While most people would pay any price to get a Kentucky Derby winner, the truth is the less you pay the better chance you have of buying a Derby winner at auction. There have only been three Kentucky Derby winners to sell at auction for $500,000 or more: Fusaichi Pegasus ($4,000,000), Winning Colors ($575,000), and Alysheba ($500,000). Despite the inflated auction prices of horses in the last 30+ years, most of the Derby winners sold since 1980 were bought for less than $50,000!

Below is a list of the Kentucky Derby winners since 1960 who sold at auction with their prices. In the cases where a horse went to auction more than once, the highest price realized is used. Also included is a list of the highest priced auction purchases who ran in the Kentucky Derby and where they finished.

          Derby Winner Auction Prices

 2017  Always Dreaming       $350,000
 2016  Nyquist               $400,000
 2015  American Pharoah      $300,000
 2012  I’ll Have Another      $35,000
 2011  Animal Kingdom        $100,000
 2009  Mine That Bird          $9,500
 2008  Big Brown             $190,000
 2003  Funny Cide             $22,000
 2002  War Emblem             $20,000
 2001  Monarchos             $170,000
 2000  Fusaichi Pegasus    $4,000,000
 1998  Real Quiet             $17,000
 1997  Silver Charm          $100,000
 1994  Go for Gin            $150,000
 1992  Lil E. Tee             $25,000
 1990  Unbridled              $70,000
 1989  Sunday Silence         $32,000
 1988  Winning Colors        $575,000
 1987  Alysheba              $500,000
 1980  Genuine Risk           $32,000
 1979  Spectacular Bid        $37,000
 1977  Seattle Slew           $17,500
 1976  Bold Forbes            $15,200
 1975  Foolish Pleasure       $20,000
 1971  Canonero II             $1,200
 1970  Dust Commander          $6,500
 1969  Majestic Prince       $250,000
 1966  Kauai King             $42,000
 1960  Venetian Way           $10,500
                 Top Auction Price Derby Runners

 2000  Fusaichi Pegasus    $4,000,000 - 1st
 2009  Dunkirk             $3,700,000 - 11th
 1989  Houston             $2,900,000 - 8th
 2009  Desert Party        $2,100,000 - 14th
 2001  Talk Is Money       $1,800,000 - 17th
 2015  Carpe Diem          $1,600,000 - 10th
 2007  Cowtown Cat         $1,500,000 - 20th
 2000  Exchange Rate       $1,400,000 - 12th
 2004  Lion Heart          $1,400,000 - 2nd
 1996  Unbridled’s Song    $1,400,000 - 5th
 2006  A.P. Warrior        $1,300,000 - 18th
 2001  Millennium Wind     $1,200,000 - 11th
 2017  Tapwrit             $1,200,000 - 6th
 2005  Noble Causeway      $1,150,000 - 14th
 2007  Any Given Saturday  $1,100,000 - 8th
 2000  High Yield          $1,050,000 - 15th
 1983  Chumming            $1,000,000 - 12th
 2001  Songandaprayer      $1,000,000 - 13th
 1987  Capote                $800,000 - DNF 
 2006  Point Determined      $750,000 - 9th
 2006  Jazil                 $725,000 - DH for 4th
 2007  Zanjero               $700,000 - 12th
 2009  Flying Private        $700,000 - 19th
 2009  Regal Ransom          $675,000 - 8th
 2016  Mor Spirit            $650,000 - 10th
 1985  Tank’s Prospect       $625,000 - 7th
 2004  Tapit                 $625,000 - 9th
 1992  Thyer                 $600,000 - 13th
 2005  Going Wild            $600,000 - 18th
 1988  Winning Colors        $575,000 - 1st
 1999  Desert Hero           $575,000 - 13th
 2000  Commendable           $575,000 - 17th
As you can see, a high price at auction doesn't guarantee a good finish much less a win in the Kentucky Derby, but TWO Triple Crown winners were bought for low prices at auction. $1 million or more horses have fared particularly badly, with only one win (Fusaich Pegasus) and one second (Lion Heart) from 17 horses.

So let's apply this to 2018's top Kentucky Derby contenders. Here are the top 20 Derby contenders by points earned as of April 15 with their auction prices. The bargain horses who sold for less than $100,000 this year are: My Boy Jack ($20,000), Noble Indy ($45,000), and Promises Fulfilled ($37,000). The ones likely eliminated, or at least having a jinx against them, for selling over $1 million are: Bolt d'Oro ($1,000,000), Good Magic ($1,000,000), Instilled Regard ($1,050,000), and Mendelssohn ($3,000,000).


Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy could be the Cinderella horse for this year, selling for only $45,000 as a yearling at Keeneland.
 NameAuction Price
 Audible$500,000
 Bolt d’Oro$1,000,000
 Bravazohomebred
 Combatant$320,000
 Enticedhomebred
 Firenze Firehomebred
 Flameaway$400,000
 Free Drop Billy$200,000
 Good Magic$1,000.000
 Gronkowski$404,492
 Hofburghomebred
 Instilled Regard$1,050,000
 Justify$500,000
 Lone Sailor$120,000
 Magnum Moon$380,000
 Mendelssohn$3,000,000
 My Boy Jack$20,000
 Noble Indy$45,000
 Promises Fulfilled$37,000
 Quiphomebred/private sale
 Snapper Sinclair$180,000
 Solomini$270,000
 Vino Rosso$410,000

Horses who have never been through an auction are listed as homebreds or homebred/private.

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