Topped by Tapwrit's $1.2 million price, a dozen of the 20 horses entered in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) were purchased at public auction, several of them more than once.
A 3-year-old son of leading sire Tapit , out of the grade 1-winning Successful Appeal mare Appealing Zophie, Tapwrit was purchased by Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Robert LaPenta from the consignment of Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale.
The colt has won half his six starts, including the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Pulpit Stakes, and enters the First Saturday in May with earnings of $343,902, for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The least expensive Derby hopeful is Gunnerva, a son of Dialed In out of the winning Unbridled mare Unbridled Rage who was purchased by trainer Antonio Sano for $16,000 from the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale. He was consigned by Jim and Pam Robinson's Brandywine Farm and Stephen Upchurch, who also bred the colt.
The colt has won four of nine starts, including the Saratoga Special and Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (both G2) and the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3).
Battle of Midway , consigned by Gainesway to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, was purchased by Tom McGreevy on behalf of Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm for $410,000, but last month was privately purchased by Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm. A son of Smart Strike out of the grade 1-winning mare Rigoletta, Battle of Midway was bred by Thor-Bred Stables and has won half his four starts.
Two Derby starters were purchased privately at the Keeneland September sale after exiting the auction ring as RNAs.
Gormley , a $150,000 RNA when offered by Paramount Sales, was subsequently purchased privately for that amount by Jerry and Ann Moss. Irap, a $140,000 RNA consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, was bought privately by Grand Oaks for $100,000, and then was pinhooked to the Ocala Breeders' Sales' March sale of 2-year-olds in training, where he was purchased for $300,000 by Dennis O'Neill, agent.
2017 Kentucky Derby Entrants Sold at Public Auction
Key: FT-Fasig-Tipton; Kee-Keeneland; OBS-Ocala Breeders' Sales
Horse, sale price, B-buyer (agent), C-consignor
Always Dreaming—15KeeSept, $350,000, B-Steve Young, C-Dromoland Farm
Battle of Midway—15FTSAug, $410,000, B-Fox Hill Farm (Tom McGreevy), C-Gainesway Farm
Fast and Accurate—16OBSApril, $85,000, B-Dr. Kendall Hansen (Woodford Thoroughbreds), C-Wavertree Stables
Girvin—15FTKOct, $130,000, B-Grand Oaks, C-Legacy Bloodstock
Gormley—15KeeSept, $150,000 (private sale), B-Jerry and Ann Moss, C-Paramount Sales
Gunnevera—15KeeSept, $16,000, B-Antonia Sano, C-Brandywine Farm and Stephen Upchurch
Irap—15KeeSept, $100,000 (private sale), B-Grand Oaks, C-Taylor Made Sales Agency; 16OBSMarch, $300,000, B-Dennis O'Neill, C-Bobby Dodd
J Boys Echo—15KeeSept, $485,000, B-Albaugh Family Stable (Kempton Bloodstock), C-Betz Thoroughbreds
Lookin at Lee—15KeeSept, $70,000, B-L&N Racing, C-Penn Sales
Practical Joke —15KeeJan, $135,000, B-Clear Ridge Stables, C-Vinery Sales; 15KeeSept, $240,000, B-Aquinnah Ventures, C-Gainesway
Tapwrit—15FTSAug, $1.2 million, B-Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta, C-Denali Stud
Untrapped—15KeeJan, $97,000, B-Springhouse Farm, C-Indian Creek; 15KeeSept, $150,000, B-B.L.B., C-Paramount Sales; 16OBSApril, $125,000, B-Michael Langford, C-Crupi's New Castle Farm