Many of this year's candidates for the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), were offered at public auction before they began their racing careers. Two sold for more than $1 million apiece, but you could have purchased some of them for less than $100,000.
The most expensive were Any Given Saturday and Cowtown Cat.
Any Given Saturday, winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes, third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), and second in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), was bred by Racehorse Management, a division of Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, to the 2005 Keeneland September yearling auction, the Distorted Humor colt was reported to have been sold for $1.1 million to Buzz Chace, agent. But Any Given Saturday ended up back with WinStar. The colt began his career running for WinStar and Maverick Racing. He now is owned by WinStar and Anne and Satish Sanan's Padua Stables.
Cowtown Cat, winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and Gotham Stakes (gr. III), was bred by Gulf Coast Farms Bloodstock, the principles of which are Florida pinhooker Jerry Bailey and Utah horseman Lance Robinson. Consigned by Taylor Made, agent, to the Keeneland September sale, he was listed as being sold to Gulf Coast for $135,000. Last year, Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, agent, consigned him to the Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, where he was sold to WinStar for the sale-topping price of $1.5 million. Gulf Coast bought back an interest in the colt soon afterward.
However, there are other Derby candidates that were bargains in comparison. For example, Great Hunter sold for only $30,000 when he was offered at Keeneland in September. Curlin was a $57,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.
Dominican was a $37,000 yearling at the 2005 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, a $70,000 yearling at the same year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall sale, and a $150,000 2-year-old at the 2006 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) March select sale.
Teuflesberg was bought back for $37,000 at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction and then was sold for only $9,000 later that year at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.
Following are the sale histories of other Derby candidates:
Bold Start -- $50,000 Fasig-Tipton July sale yearling.
Bwana Bull -- $75,000 Keeneland November sale weanling; $140,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.
Chelokee -- $290,000 Keeneland September yearling.
Cobalt Blue -- $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August select sale yearling; $325,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale 2-year-old.
Hard Spun -- $485,000 buy-back at Keeneland September sale.
Imawildandcrazyguy -- $9,500 OBS January mixed sale buy-back as a yearling; $17,000 OBS August sale yearling; $27,000 OBS April sale buy-back as a 2-year-old.
Liquidity -- $100,000 Keeneland November sale weanling; $170,000 Keeneland September sale yearling; $240,000 Barretts March sale 2-year-old.
Reporting for Duty -- $60,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.
Sam P. -- $200,000 Fasig-Tipton July sale yearling.
Scat Daddy -- $250,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.
Sedgefield -- $100,000 Keeneland November sale weanling; $150,000 Keeneland September sale buy-back as a yearling; $300,000 Keeneland April sale 2-year-old.
Starbase -- $350,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.
Storm in May -- $16,000 OBS April sale 2-year-old.
Xchanger -- $31,000 OBS October mixed sale weanling; $6,500 OBS August sale yearling; $40,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale 2-year-old.
Zanjero -- $700,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.