Value of Thoroughbred Mares as Broodmares

Interested in a ballpark number of what thoroughbred mares with racing records are worth as broodmares? I come from the western performance world so obviously competing for vastly different purse amounts. I understand that breeding matters as well but my examples are:

Bay mare that is 3 coming 4. won 23k

Chestnut mare that is 5 coming 6. won 63k

Bay mare that is 3 coming 4. won 9k

Chestnut mare that is 5 coming 6 and won 138k.

I know not a lot of details, just curious how the industries differ from the breeding side.

Thanks :blush:

For race horses or???

If not for racing, not much.

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Unfortunately if it’s for sport, not much there either unless they are also exceptional movers/ jumpers with super conformation and nice temperament and a solid performance record.

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Sorry, I should have clarified, they were race horses, wondering if they have value as broodmares or if they are not worth much if they are not fit to race.

Just trying to understand, in the western world, if a mare won 100k, she would be extremely valuable as a broodmare. :blush:

Unless they were stakes horses or are closely related to something that is commercially very successful and popular, they aren’t worth much as racehorse broodmares.

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Do you mean for barrel racing when you say the western world?

Their greatest value is as racehorse broodmares. Beyond that, very limited.

That was what I was wondering. What is their value as racehorse broodmares?
Western performance as in reining and cowhorse.
The back story is……
I do embryo transfers on some of my reining broodmares. I picked up 4 thoroughbred mares today from a girl that lets them down when they come off the track and restarts them. I got them extremely cheap as these 4 were not restarted. Upon finding out their jockey club names I did some research and found their race records.
I was shocked at what I thought were pretty good records and them being sold so cheap.
Just looking to understand what makes up a “good Tb broodmare” and get to know these 4 ladies a bit better :blush:

Like traditional top sport horse breeding mares, top tb broodmares generally aren’t raced.

I wouldn’t presume they would have much value as racing broodmares.

While embryo transfer is becoming more common in sport horse breeding, hence sport mares breeding and sporting, the jockey club doesn’t allow embryo transfer/ai/etc

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Interesting, thanks for taking the time to explain, it’s all a foreign language to me!
I guess I should also clarify that I acquired them to use as recipient mares for my reining broodmares. Not to use AS broodmares themselves.

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Racehorses/racehorse breeding are crazy because the cost to get one on the ground and do anything can be insane, and then so many of them end up virtually valueless–you add value with retraining for whatever, but even then the market for ottbs is rarely anything near what it cost to make them, or frequently what they made.

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The value placed on a TB mare for breeding tends to be a combination of several things.

First, pedigree. If she comes from a strong family and is closely related to winners, or to the producers of winners, she has value to a breeder. Some canny breeders will look a bit further back in the pedigree and spot a family that has gone off the boil or isn’t as fashionable and obtain what then proves to be a good broodmare for a comparatively cheap price. But it is pedigree that mainly sells youngstock at the sales so the close-up pedigree of a mare is very important to commercial breeders. Some ‘blue hen’ mares have a fantastic ability to produce exceptional runners and such mares have huge impact and their offspring command substantial prices at the sales. Look up ‘Urban Sea’ and see what she produced. Interestingly, these mares are often top class winners themselves.

Second, performance. If she has a good race record then that can/will play into her value though pedigree is generally more highly valued. Many very successful broodmares have a very light race record before they go to the paddocks. For a potential stallion, it makes sense to build up a CV based on multiple wins in prestigious races over a season or two. For the fillies, unless they become superstars like Black Caviar or Enable, it isn’t worth racing them too long. They can have only one foal at a time rather than the hundreds achieved annually by the stallion so fillies retire to the paddocks young. On the other hand, some well bred fillies prove to be just so slow even the most optimistic breeder wouldn’t bother. I know of one blue-blooded mare that can’t keep up with a 10hh Welsh pony.

The third element is the “physical” because a horse with a poor conformation will not stand up to the rigours of race training. A potential broodmare should be a good “physical” so as to minimize the chance of producing a foal with conformational faults. The physical appearance of the youngster is the other key part of success at the sales.

There are also times when a mare with good potential for breeding slips through the cracks because their owner and/or trainer have no interest in breeding and just want rid of her. I recall a story of a mare being sold on for good money after she was traced to and purchased cheaply from a riding school because a younger full brother proved to be an exceptional racehorse.

Probably the majority of TB females go on to the paddocks but only a tiny fraction of males go on to be breeding stallions.

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I think part of the question, which I can’t answer myself, is how much money counts as big wins for a TB racehorse. Also how many wins versus starts and at what level. Someone over in the racing forum could tell you. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that race horses need to earn a lot more than show horses because they are keeping a business afloat.

I’m going to say 9k or 23k lifetime winnings means maresy isn’t even paying her room and board.

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This.

Valuation of a racing broodmare comes from a combination of factors, with the production record of her female family (her dam, her dam’s dam, etc.) being one of the greatest factors. Her own performance is important, too, but there are also a lot of reasons a mare may be light on racing history. For example, sometimes a mare’s pedigree and female family are so valuable on their own that her owners may throw in the towel early on a mare’s racing career if they hit any minor setbacks, like normal, small, wear and tear injuries that would delay racing.

We would need to know the mare’s names in order to tell you if they have value, because earnings alone are meaningless. If you want to PM them to me I’d be happy to look, if you aren’t comfortable posting them publicly. I’m not a bloodstock agent or anything, just a small time breeder myself who has been involved in race breeding on/off for most of my life.

The racing broodmare market is really feast or famine anymore. Mares are either worth more than most “normal” horse people can afford, or they are worth nothing. There’s not a lot of middle market these days. And unfortunately, because race breeding has become so competitive, even “good” race mares or broodmares may be worth essentially nothing (I own a former state broodmare of the year who I bought for $200 later in her career). When mares are making it into to the hands of non-race breeders, it’s usually because they don’t have any value for race breeding. Racing is very public and it’s easy to keep tabs on valuable mares. They get snapped up by people within the racing industry really quickly. There aren’t as many instances where mares slip through the cracks these days, but it does happen occasionally. The most common reason a mare might gain some value as a broodmare unexpectedly is if her female family did something big recently, like a sibling wins some major graded stakes races.

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Thank you for that very detailed explanation! It’s not really that important to me if these mares are valuable to the racing industry, just was hoping to learn more about what makes them valuable and you answered most all of it. It actually sounds quite similar to reining in that good bred mares won’t have a super long show career because they are valuable as broodmares so no need to keep showing them.

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You’ve had some excellent quality replies already.
I just wanted to add that different breeders do have different specifics that they look for in mares as potential broodmares. Not everyone is the same. Godolphin looks for and purchases different mares than I do. Breeders have theories about pedigrees, race records, conformation and attitudes that determine what is valuable to THEM, in the hopes of producing a successful TB racehorse, and what proves them right or wrong is “after the fact”, determined solely by the success or failure of the offspring produced. What one breeder will be keen to use as a broodmare may be thoroughly rejected by someone else. And who is right and who is wrong is proven out in time and with luck. Some of the most successful racehorses have been produced by families who have been less than prominent or “high class” pedigrees. This is what keeps breeding racehorses honest and open to all… the fact that lightening strikes. People who breed strictly for the yearling sale market have different parameters to consider than those who breed to produce racehorses. The two markets are related, but not necessarily the same. Different types of thoroughbreds may be more or less suitable to different areas in the world. One of the most successful TB race breeders of all time was referred to as “That Crazy Italian” by mainstream race breeders due to his breeding theories at the time. And everybody else was wrong, and he was right. Apparently. When breeding TBs for the purpose of racing… never say never.

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What are your plans for the mares, now that you have them? If you are interested in breeding sport horses, you could probably cross them with a Connemara for something with a bit more bone and substance. I’m assuming you probably don’t want to breed racehorses.

I’m using them for recipient mares for embryo transfers. Was just trying to understand why young mares with racing records were so inexpensive.

Because OTTB are the huge bargain of the sport horse world. It costs a fortune to get them to the point where they know if it can run, and then once the trainer decides they don’t want to continue, the horse is pretty much a giveaway to a riding home.

A jumper trainer with connections can get OTTB free or for $2000, just a token price given the expense to make the horse. This is because there’s some skill and luck and risk in taking one on. They need complete starting over, they may have hidden injuries, and it’s a challenge getting them from racing fit to steady riding horses.

Our barn is close to a lower tier TB track, we evrn have track trainers keeping horses there, and there’s always someone trying to start one as a riding horse. With mixed results. A number of ammies do end up having to give up and rehome their projects because it’s just too much horse for them.

They are high quality horses, athletic, beautiful, the bargain of the century, but I decided a while back that I didn’t have the nerve to take on a fresh OTTB.

So it’s a funny market in that post track these horses have very little resale value until they’ve got a couple of years solid training on them.

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As others have said, 100k in racing isn’t that much.
It takes a lot more money to produce a winning racehorse than a winning reining horse, which is why 100k in earnings in a reining horse would be a big deal.
The stud fee alone for a horse could be 100k. Though, it’s probably not likely on these mares since they weren’t immediately used for breeding. Most of the time if a filly is born and it’s sire is a big name, it won’t race. The babies it could make are more valuable. But this isn’t always the case.

Instance one: my gelding. His stud fee was pretty low, like 15k. I had the numbers written down years ago when I researched it, but who knows where I put the paper…. He then sold for about 30k at auction. Went on to earn a whopping 12k racing. A young girl bought him straight off the track and then I got him.

Instance two: friends mare. Huge stud fee. Sold at auction as a yearling for more than most houses. Made about 100k on the track. Owner didn’t like her; she had a funky conformation (she really does, she’s super butt high. The sweetest horse ever though) and he didn’t want to breed her. She ended up at a OTTB rehoming center.

Instance three: friends gelding. Very low stud fee, pretty ‘unknown’ stallion. Was raced by the breeder, so no auction sales. Went on to make over 200k on the track, and he only raced 7 times. That horse made them money.

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Aside from the biggy - pedigree - I think the 2 older ones could be mildly interesting for the small time player. They lasted a couple of years on the track and paid their way.
the other two barely bothered the stewards!

the thing is though, every year so many young horses head for the training barns. Unless the horses are super producers they need to make room for fresh stock.

I hope they work out for you.