What? Thoroughbred Income?
Thoroughbred racing is a serious sport, and its champions are serious money-earners.
When Thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat won the first American Triple Crown (1973) in 25 years — Citation had last accomplished the feat in 1948 — he was sold into stud syndication for a then record $6.08 Million. Today that figure would come to a comparable $35 Million.
Secretariat became an instant folklore hero, as well, when he completed the Belmont Stakes, the Triple Crown’s third leg, in record time and by a whopping, unheard of 31 lengths.
It was not until 2015 that the next, the 12th ever, American Triple Crown Champion came onto the scene. He was American Pharoah, who then took down $30 Million in stud fees in one year of service.
The biggest racehorse earner in the stud barn today is Tapit, a gray champion of the prestigious Wood Memorial whose progeny are earning more than he did as a track star. But he is booked to 125 mares per season at the handsome price of $300,000 per live foul result.
Horse of the Year in 1938, Seabiscuit earned little under half a million dollars in his racing career. Today that balloons to $7.5 Million.
Seabiscuit was so revered in his racing years that an eventual book about his career and the lives of the men who owned, trained, and rode him became a bestseller on the New York Times list. A movie followed in 2003 and grossed over $120 Million.
Charles Howard, who owned Seabiscuit, thought of his champion almost as a family pet. He never offered Seabiscuit to stud service. Instead, he let his favorite Thoroughbred retire to enjoy a life of leisure in green pastures on his farm.
Roughcraft Art drawing from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg