5 most profitable thoroughbred racehorses of all-time

Horse racing over a hurdle

Horseracing is a lucrative sport for owners and trainers. A great racehorse can win millions of dollars on the racetrack and millions more once they are put to pasture to breed.

A long, successful racing career can earn an owner a lot of money, but there are just a few horses who have won over $10 million in prize money. Those horses are in a special category as $10m prizewinning thoroughbreds.

The top 5 most profitable thoroughbred racehorses won’t be appearing at the Grand National 2019, but a new entry to this list could be there. It should be noted that many of the most successful racehorses competed in Asia. Races held in venues such as Dubai, Hong Kong, and Japan are far more lucrative than those in Europe or North America.

  1. Buena Vista – $17m

Japanese horse Buena Vista was trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda. The trainer turned Buena Vista into a top racehorse in Japan winning a litany of events. In 2011, Buena Vista won the famed Japan Cup just one year after being named the country’s Horse of the Year. In 23 starts, Buena Vista won nine while finishing second eight times, and on third three occasions.

  1. Winx – $17.2m

Australia’s Winx began her career in 2015 and is still speeding around tracks. Due to her career still going, Winx could end further up the top 5. Winx has had a number of high-profile wins including the Turnbull Stakes and twice at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In 2017, the mare was voted to the Australian Horseracing Hall of Fame.

  1. Arrogate – $17.4

American horse Arrogate won seven of his 11 starts. Two of the other four races ended in second or third-place finishes. Arrogate’s major wins came at the Travers Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pegasus World Cup, and Dubai World Cup. Arrogate has since been retired to Juddmonte Farm where his breeding fee is $75,000.

  1. Gentildonna – $18.5m

Gentildonna was Japan’s 2012 Horse of the Year following her Japanese Fillies Triple Crown win. The mare went on to win the Japan Cup twice, Dubai Sheema Classic, and Arima Kinen races. Gentildonna won 10 times in 19 starts. While the mare’s three-year career was spectacular, her best financially came in her rookie season. Gentildonna’s 2012 earnings were more than $8.5m and despite her next year being down, the mare rebounded for a great 2014.

  1. Orfevre – $19m

In 2013, Japanese racehorse Orfevre was retired to stud. It came after a highly successful career racing in Japan. Orfevre started 21 races and won 12 while finishing second six times. He achieved wins at the Prix Foy in France on two occasions. Orfevre also finished first at the Arima Kinen in 2011 and 2013.

Prior to both Prix Foy races, Orfevre ran the famed Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He finished second in both starts at the Arc. As a three-year-old, Orfevre earned over $10m before following up it up with back to back consistent years winning over $4m in both 2012 and 2013.

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