Even people who have zero interest in horses get excited about races like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup. With even more high-stakes races like the Saudi Cup, it’s likely more people will become fans. What many don’t realize is that some racehorses make their owners tons of money.
Thunder Snow: over $12 million
Ireland has a history of producing great racehorses, and Thunder Snow is one of the best from the country. When you look at this 5-year-old’s record it doesn’t look terribly impressive. Out of 24 starts, Thunder Snow has only landed in the winner’s circle eight times (he’s placed second 11 times), according to Thoroughbred Racing.
But when you look at the bay’s total winnings, the story changes. Thunder Snow hasn’t championed many races, but the ones he’s won had huge purses, including the Dubai Cup. These bring his total earnings to over $12 million.
Orfevre: over $12 million in winnings
Japan also has a knack for breeding high-quality thoroughbreds who earn big paydays. Orfevre is proof of the country’s outstanding breeding. The 2008 chestnut horse did spectacularly well during his racing career. Out of 21 starts, he won 12 and placed seven. Orfevre has retired from racing and is currently an active breeding stallion. As a sought-after stallion, he continues to pull in substantial paychecks.
Arrogate: over $13 million
Arrogate is a stellar 2013 Thoroughbred who consistently finds himself in the winner’s circle. Unbridled’s grandson was trained by Bob Baffert. While he may not have won the Triple Crown, like Justified, another Baffert-trained thoroughbred, Arrogate earned more money overall.
The gray stallion only had 11 starts during his racing career, but he won seven of those races, which happened to have large purses. By the time the colt retired, he earned an excess of $13 million. Winning the Dubai Cup, a race with one of the biggest purses in the world, drives up Arrogate’s lifetime earnings.
Winx: over $14 million
A 2011 Australian-bred horse, Winx earned over $14 million before she retired in 2019. The pretty bay mare posted 37 wins out of her 43 starts. Chris Waller trained Winx throughout her career. She was owned by Peter and Patty Tighe of Magic Bloodstock Racing. They bought the outstanding mare for a mere $230,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.
Winx has the distinction of being just one of three racehorses to be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame while she was still racing. Most have been retired for several years before they receive the honor. Winx is officially retired, but it doesn’t mean she’s done earning money. There’s every reason to expect she’ll produce several nice foals who will fetch high prices at yearling sales.
Based on the massive amounts of money all of these horses have earned, it’s reasonable to assume it won’t be long before we see some young, winning thoroughbreds who have one of these amazing horses as their parents.