Thoroughbred valuation is the art of determining the value or potential value of a Thoroughbred horse, particularly of race horses.
Prices on Thoroughbreds vary greatly, depending on age, pedigree, conformation, and other market factors.In 2007, Keeneland Sales, a United States-based sales company, sold 9,124 horses at auction, with a total value of $814,401,000, which gives an average price of $89,259. As a whole for the United States in 2007, The Jockey Club auction statistics indicate that the average weanling sold for $44,407, the average yearling sold for $55,300, average sale price for two-year-olds was $61,843, broodmares averaged $70,150, and horses over two and broodmare prospects sold for an average of $53,243. For Europe, the July 2007 Tattersall's Sale sold 593 horses at auction, with a total for the sale of 10,951,300 guineas, for an average of 18,468 guineas. Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, another British sales firm, in 2007 sold 2,248 horses for a total value of 43,033,881 guineas, making an average of 15,110 guineas per horse.
Averages, however, can be deceiving. For example, at the 2007 Fall Yearling sale at Keeneland, 3,799 young horses sold for a total of $385,018,600, for an average of $101,347 per horse.However, that average sales price reflected a variation that included at least 19 horses that sold for only $1,000 each and 34 that sold for over $1,000,000 apiece.
The value of a Thoroughbred may be influenced by the purse money it wins. In 2007, Thoroughbred racehorses earned a total of $1,217,854,602 in all placings, an average earnings per starter of $16,924.In addition, the track record of a race horse may influence its future value as a breeding animal. Stud fees for stallions that enter breeding can range from $2,500 to $300,000 per mare in the United States, and from £2000 pounds to £75,000 pounds or more in Britain.
Between 1974 and 1988, yearlings sired by Northern Dancer led the Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sale by average price 12 times. In the 1983 Keeneland Sales horse auction, one of Northern Dancer's colts, eventually named Snaafi Dancer, became the first yearling to sell for $10 million at auction. In 1984 12 yearlings by Northern Dancer sold for a sale-record average price of $3,446.666.In the 1980s, Northern Dancer's stud fee reached $1 million, an amount four to five times other staillions and a record that still stands in 2009.
The highest price paid at auction for a Thoroughbred was set in 2006 at $16,000,000 for a two-year-old colt named The Green Monkey,who was a descendant of Northern Dancer. Record prices at auction often grab headlines, though they do not necessarily reflect the animal's future success; in the case of The Green Monkey, injuries limited him to only three career starts before being retired to stud in 2008, and he never won a race.
For a number of years, in the 1970s and 1980s, horses sired by Northern Dancer (1961–1990) held the top ten price records, with 174 Northern Dancer offspring selling for a total $160 million at the Keeneland Sales over 22 years. As of 2020 [update] , twenty-seven of the thirty-three horses on this list were from the Northern Dancer sire line.The National Thoroughbred Racing Association calls him "one of the most influential sires in Thoroughbred history." At the time of his 1990 death, his descendants had won more than 1,000 stakes races.
The most recent common ancestor in the sire line of all thirty-three horses on this list is Phalaris, all via Pharos except two—Meydan City and King's Consul—via Sickle.
|Horse||Foaled||Sire||Dam||Breeder||Year sold||Nominal price||Real price (in 2019 US$)||Buyer|
|Seattle Dancer||1984||Nijinsky||My Charmer||W. L. Jones, W. S. Farish III, W. S. Kilroy||1985||$13.1 million||$31.1 million||Niarchos, J. Magnier, Sangster, O'Brien, Schwartz|
|Meydan City||2005||Kingmambo||Crown of Crimson||Jayeff B Stable||2006||$11.7 million||$14.8 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Snaafi Dancer||1982||Northern Dancer||My Bupers||Donald T. Johnson||1983||$10.2 million||$26.2 million||Aston Upthorpe Stud|
|Jalil||2004||Storm Cat||Tranquility Lake||Pamela & Martin Wygod||2005||$9.7 million||$12.7 million||Godolphin Racing|
|Plavius||2005||Danzig||Sharp Minister||Monticule Farms||2006||$9.2 million||$11.7 million||Godolphin Racing|
|Al Naamah||2012||Galileo||Alluring Park||Lodge Park Stud||2013||$8.4 million||$9.3 million||Al Shaqab|
|Imperial Falcon||1983||Northern Dancer||Ballade||E. P. Taylor||1984||$8.25 million||$20.3 million||Robert Sangster|
|Act of Diplomacy||2005||Storm Cat||Awesome Humor||Taylor Made Farm||2006||$8.2 million||$10.4 million||John Ferguson|
|Mr. Sekiguchi||2003||Storm Cat||Welcome Surprise||William S. Farish III, William S. Kilroy||2004||$8 million||$10.8 million||Fusao Sekiguchi|
|Take Control||2007||A.P. Indy||Azeri||Allen E. Paulson Living Trust||2008||$7.7 million||$9.1 million||(reserve not attained, buy back)|
|Ajdal||1984||Northern Dancer||Native Partner||Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.||1985||$7.5 million||$17.8 million||(reserve not attained, buy back)|
|Jareer||1983||Northern Dancer||Fabuleux Jane||Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.||1984||$7.1 million||$17.5 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Laa Etaab||1984||Nijinsky||Crimson Saint||Tom Gentry||1985||$7 million||$16.6 million||Gainsborough Stud|
|Tasmanian Tiger||1999||Storm Cat||Hum Along||Lane's End Farm||2000||$6.8 million||$10.1 million||Demi O'Byrne|
|Amjaad||1983||Seattle Slew||Desiree||Spendthrift Farm||1984||$6.5 million||$16 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Van Nistelrooy||2000||Storm Cat||Halory||Stonerside Stable||2001||$6.4 million||$9.2 million||Demi O'Byrne|
|Objectivity||2004||Storm Cat||Secret Status||Lane's End Farm||2005||$6.3 million||$8.2 million||John Ferguson|
|Alajwad||2000||Storm Cat||La Affirmed||Eaton Sales||2001||$5.5 million||$7.9 million||John Ferguson|
|Obligato||1983||Northern Dancer||Truly Bound||Windfields Farm||1984||$5.4 million||$13.3 million||BBA (Ireland)|
|Abshurr||1997||Nureyev||Go Solo||Camas Park Stud||1998||$5.4 million||$8.5 million||Godolphin Racing|
|Nysaean||1999||Sadler's Wells||Irish Arms||Haras d'Etreham||2000||$5.4 million||$8.1 million||Peter Doyle|
|King's Consul||1999||Kingmambo||Battle Creek Girl||Lane's End Farm||2000||$5.3 million||$7.9 million||John Ferguson|
|Diaghilev||1999||Sadler's Wells||Darara||Watership Down Stud||2000||$5.2 million||$7.8 million||Demi O'Byrne|
|Wassl Touch||1983||Northern Dancer||Queen Sucree||North Ridge Farm||1984||$5.1 million||$12.6 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Elnawaagi||1983||Roberto||Gurkhas Band||Keswick Stables||1984||$4.0 million||$9.8 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Warrshan||1986||Northern Dancer||Secret Asset||Hermitage Farm||1987||$3.7 million||$8.3 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Northern State||1985||Northern Dancer||South Ocean||Windfields Farm||1986||$3.6 million||$8.4 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Ballydoyle||1980||Northern Dancer||South Ocean||E. P. Taylor||1981||$3.5 million||$9.8 million||Robert Sangster|
|Royal Academy||1987||Nijinsky||Crimson Saint||Tom Gentry||1988||$3.5 million||$7.6 million||Vincent O'Brien|
|Shareef Dancer||1980||Northern Dancer||Sweet Alliance||E. P. Taylor||1981||$3.3 million||$9.3 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
|Dancing Groom||1985||Nijinsky||Blush With Pride||Darrell Brown||1986||$3.2 million||$7.5 million||BBA (Ireland)|
|Immortal Dancer||1982||Spectacular Bid||Farouche||Newstead Farm Trust||1983||$3.0 million||$7.7 million||Aston Upthorpe Stud|
|Fulmar||1980||Northern Dancer||Bernie Bird||E. P. Taylor||1981||$2.95 million||$8.3 million||BBA (England)|
|Horse||Foaled||Sire||Dam||Breeder||Year sold||Nominal price||Real price (in 2019 US$)||Buyer|
|Altruiste||1999||Diesis||Allegretta||Haras d'Etreham||2000||$8.2 million||$12.1 million||Suprina|
|America's Joy||2018||American Pharoah||Leslie's Lady||Clarkland Farm||2019||$8.2 million||$8.2 million||Whisper Hill Farm|
|Alchaasibiyeh||1983||Seattle Slew||Fine Prospect||Spendthrift Farm||1984||$3.75 million||$9.2 million||Sheikh Mohammed|
The Minstrel was a Canadian-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Bred in Ontario, he was sold as a yearling and exported to Europe, where he was campaigned in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As a two-year-old The Minstrel was unbeaten in three races including the Dewhurst Stakes, but lost two of his first three starts in 1977. He was then moved up in distance and won his remaining three races: the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Robert Edmund Sangster was a British businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. Sangster's horses won 27 European Classics and more than 100 Group One races, including two Epsom Derbys, four Irish Derbys, two French Derbys, three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes, as well as the Breeders' Cup Mile and the Melbourne Cup. He was British flat racing Champion Owner five times.
Tattersalls is the main auctioneer of race horses in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
John Magnier is an Irish business magnate. He is Ireland's leading thoroughbred stud owner and has extensive business interests outside the horse-breeding industry.
Sadler's Wells was a thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United States but raced in Europe, winning the 1984 Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and Phoenix Champion Stakes. He also finished second in the Prix du Jockey Club and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was named the champion miler in France, and was rated sixth overall in the International Classification for 1984.
Shareef Dancer (1980–1999) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse.
Storm Cat was an American Thoroughbred stallion whose breeding fee during the peak of his stud career was $500,000, the highest in North America at the time. He was the leading sire in North America in 1999 and 2000, and the leading juvenile (two-year-old) sire a record seven times. He sired 108 graded stakes winners and eight champions, including Giant's Causeway, who also became a leading sire.
Nureyev (1977–2001) was an American-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and champion sire. As a racehorse, he was best known as the disqualified "winner" of the 2000 Guineas in 1980.
Tomcito is a Peruvian Thoroughbred racehorse.
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.
Xtra Heat is a retired American Thoroughbred Champion racehorse and broodmare. Despite competing almost exclusively at sprint distances, she was named American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly at the Eclipse Awards for 2001. She was inducted into the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame on August 7, 2015.
Keeneland Sales is an American Thoroughbred auction house in Lexington, Kentucky founded in 1935 as a nonprofit racing/auction entity on 147 acres of farmland west of Lexington, which had been owned by Jack O. Keene. A division of Keeneland Association, Inc., it holds three annual horse auctions that attract buyers from around the globe:
Snaafi Dancer is a Thoroughbred racehorse who was the first yearling to sell for more than US$10 million.
Sixties Icon, is a retired British Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a career which lasted from April 2006 until November 2008, he ran seventeen times and won eight races. He recorded his most important victory when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old. He won five other Group Races before being retired to stud.
Lady Carla was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning The Oaks in 1996. In a racing career which lasted from October 1995 to July 1997 the filly ran six times and won three races. After winning her only race as a two-year-old, Lady Carla won the Listed Oaks Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park on her three-year-old debut. Four weeks later she maintained her unbeaten run in the Classic Oaks over one and a half miles at Epsom, winning by nine lengths. She was beaten when favourite for the Irish Oaks and finished unplaced in two races the following season before being retired to stud.
Ballydoyle was a Thoroughbred racehorse who sold for a record-setting $3.5 million as a Yearling in 1981. He showed average ability on the racecourse, winning one race in Ireland as a two-year-old.
Palace Episode is an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After being sold for $100,000 as a yearling he was sent to Europe where he made a considerable impact as a two-year-old in 2005. He won on his racecourse debut, took the Acomb Stakes on his next appearance, finished third in the Royal Lodge Stakes and fifth in the Dewhurst Stakes before ending his season by winning the Group One Racing Post Trophy. After running poorly in his only appearance in 2006 he was sent to race in the United States where he had relatively little success, winning one minor race in three years before being retired at the end of the 2009 season.
Marcel is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He won two of his three starts as a juvenile in 2015 including the Racing Post Trophy. After failing in the 2000 Guineas on his only run of 2016 he was retired from racing.
Dutch Art is a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was rated the best British two-year-old of 2006, when he was unbeaten in four races including the Norfolk Stakes, Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes. In the following year he failed to win but finished second in the July Cup and Prix Maurice de Gheest and third in the 2000 Guineas. Since retiring to stud in 2008 he has had considerable success as a breeding stallion.
For the Canadian parent company, see Windfields Farm (Ontario).