You Had Your Chance: Nearly All of Derby Entrants Were Offered at Auction

You coulda bought a contender.

Seventeen of the 20 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) field were offered at public auction, meaning you could have been among their owners, provided your pockets had been deep enough. And in some cases, you didn't have to be a billionaire, or even a millionaire, to afford the cost.

The amounts for which Kentucky Derby entrants sold for ranged from a low of $10,000 for Closing Argument at the 2003 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. winter mixed auction (the first of three times he went through the sale ring) to a high of $1,150,000 for Noble Causeway at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Ranking just below Noble Causeway in price were Bandini, a $500,000 Keeneland.September sale yearling, and Spanish Chestnut, sold for $500,000 at the 2004 OBS February select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Buzzards Bay was bought back all three times he was offered: twice for $20,000 and once for $6,000. Sort It Out was bought back twice, once for $7,000 and once for $27,000.

DERBY HORSES AT AUCTION

Afleet Alex: $75,000, Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training

Andromeda's Hero: $310,000, Keeneland September yearling sale; $725,000 buy-back, Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Buzzards Bay: $20,000 buy-back, Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) August yearling sale; $6,000 buy-back, OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training; $20,000 buy-back, OBS June sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Bandini: $500,000 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Bellamy Road: $87,000 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Closing Argument: $10,000 OBS winter mixed sale; $25,000 OBS August yearling sale; $100,000 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Coin Silver: $35,000, Keeneland November breeding stock sale; $65,000 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Don't Get Mad: $60,000 buy-back, Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale; $350,000, OBS March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Flower Alley: $50,000, Keeneland November breeding stock sale; $165,000 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Giacomo: Never offered at public auction.

Going Wild: $140,000, Keeneland September yearling sale; $600,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Greater Good: Never offered at public auction.

Greeley's Galaxy: $70,000 buy-back, Keeneland yearling sale; $220,000 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

High Fly: Never offered at public auction.

High Limit: $145,000, Keeneland September yearling sale.

Noble Causeway: $1,150,000, Keeneland September yearling sale.

Sort It Out: $7,000 buy-back, Fasig-Tipton New York preferred yearling sale; $27,000 buy-back, OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Spanish Chestnut: $500,000, OBS February select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Sun King: $400,000, Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.

Wilko: $35,000, Keeneland November breeding stock sale; $75,000 Keeneland September yearling sale.

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