The Most Expensive Thoroughbreds Money Can Buy

Expensive Thoroughbreds

The Green Monkey was purchased for $16 million but did not do much on the racetrack.

Horses have always played an important role in humans’ lives. In the past (and in some parts of the world, even today) they helped us plow the land and transport the produce to the fair, they took us to battle and took our messages quickly across the land. Today, they are invaluable in equine therapy helping mental health patients regain their health, they are a source of endless fun for riders, and they are an asset when it comes to breeding and horse racing. How much of an asset, you might ask? Well, let’s take a look at the highest-priced thoroughbreds ever.


Jalil is an American Thoroughbred racehorse sired by Storm Cat, a stud with a 4-3-0 record in the 1980s that was once one of the top sires in North America with a siring fee exceeding $500,000. He ran seven races and won four before retiring from racing in September 2008. He was the fifth most expensive thoroughbred sold in the US to date – he was purchased by Godolphin Racing in 2004 for $9.7 million. In 2011, Jalil was exported to China to support the emerging local thoroughbred industry and later bought by a private owner for an undisclosed sum.

Snaafi Dancer

Bred by Donald T. Johnson, Snaafi Dancer is the son of Northern Dancer, one of the most successful sires in the 20th century. His racing record is non-existent – he was so slow in training that his owners never even run him in public. Still, at the 1983 Keeneland Select Sale, his price started at $1 million and the bidding didn’t stop until it reached a then-record $10.2 million, paid by Sheikh Mohammed’s Aston Upthorpe Stud. He was the first yearling to be sold at a price exceeding $10 million in history.

Meydan City

Meydan City is the third most expensive Thoroughbred ever sold with a price tag of $11.7 million attached to him in 2006. He was bought by Sheikh Mohammed and won its first race in the summer of 2008 in Newmarket.

Seattle Dancer

Seattle Dancer is the grandson of the above-mentioned Northern Dancer. His sire was Nijinsky, a thoroughbred with many prestigious titles under its belt. He was also purchased by Sheikh Mohammed for his stable Godolphin Racing in 1985 for another record-breaking sum: $13.1 million (equal to roughly $30 million today). After retiring from active duty, Seattle Dancer sired 37 stake race winners.

The Green Monkey

And the most expensive thoroughbred ever was The Green Monkey, another descendant of Northern Dancer as well as the legendary Secretariat. The price paid for him is an all-time record: $16 million. His new owners gave him this name, allegedly because of their connection to the Green Monkey golf course in Barbados.

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NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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