Dogwood Stable has always maintained that a healthy neighborhood in which to buy prospective racehorses is $150,000 to $300,000. I think this position is substantiated by the fact that for the first time in a while, the strength of the Keeneland September Sale was in the “middle market.” A further interesting substantiation is that the average domestic purchase price of all horses which participated in Breeders’ Cup races recently, was $163,618 - fascinating when you consider the ballyhoo and fireworks of some of the great bidding duels among the Arabs, the Magnier-Tabor consortium, and a handful of other deep pocket types.
There were only three in the seven-figure category of auction purchases. They were: Any Given Saturday, $1,100,000; George Washington, $1,150,000; and The Leopard, $1,000,000. George Washington, sadly, was euthanized and the other two didn’t come close to hitting the board in their Breeders’ Cup races.
The highest average purchase price per Breeders’ Cup race came in the Classic and it was $510,400, involving five horses purchased at public auction. Practically the whole field in the Juvenile Colt and Juvenile Filly races were auction purchases. There were nine in the colt race and nine in the filly race. Their average purchase prices were $110,333 and $104,909, respectively.
The lowest price paid for any horse that competed in that star-studded program was Unbridled Bell, purchased for $4,000. Old Man Buck in the two-year-old colt race cost only $13,000, and – staggeringly – Curlin, winner of the Classic and certainly Horse of the Year, only cost $57,000 at public auction. Those are fluky purchases, admittedly, but the aforementioned average of $163,618 is terribly significant.
How about this for a dramatic fact: If you took every horse who competed in the Breeders’ Cup Friday and Saturday and added up their public auction prices, you would have a total of $9,653,500. The Green Monkey was purchased by Magnier and Tabor in 2006 at a two-year-old sale for $16 million. He has raced in maiden races twice and been third and fourth.
Do the boxcar prices equate well with quality? I don’t think so.
This is Cot Campbell and this is my view.