The horse that will generate $35 million this year

TapitMatthew Stockman/Getty ImagesTapit hangs out in his stall in Louisville, Kentucky

This horse never won a major race but is “the most valuable horse in America,” according to his owners.

The offspring of Tapit, a 14-year-old stud horse, won 156 of 323 races in 2014, including Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, according to Daily Racing Form (DRF). They earned a total of $US16,812,111 — an all-time North American record for offspring from a single stud.

He now earns $US300,000 per offspring across more than 130 mares per year, according to Bloomberg. One of his offspring — American Pharaoh — is a favourite in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

“He’s the most valuable animal in America,” Antony Beck, owner of Gainesway farm in Lexington, Kentucky, told Bloomberg.

Tapit’s progeny won 156 of 323 races in 2014, including Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, according to Daily Racing Form (DRF). They earned a total of $US16,812,111 — an all-time North American record for offspring from a single stud.

The horse has been with the farm since retiring from racing in 2004 after winning only the Wood Memorial and placing ninth in he Kentucky Derby that year.

Frosted, which is currently at 15-1 to win the Derby; and Untapable, a female horse that was named horse of the year after winning both the Breeders Cup Distaff and the Kentucky Oaks. were both sired by Tapit.

“He gets the colts, the fillies, at turf, dirt, synthetic, they are very determined runners,” Michael Hernon, director of sales at Gainesway, told Blood Horse.

“This is what makes him extra special because you’re not pigeonholed into one or two particular lines,” Hernon told DRF.

The record haul has risen Tapit’s stud fee from a paltry $US20,000 in 2005 to $US150,000 in 2014 before doubling this year, according to Bloomberg.

TapitYouTubeTapit, shown at Gainesway Farm, has become the most valuable stud in America.

Tapit’s sky-high stud fee is second in history only to Storm Cat, a prolific horse who earned $US500,000 per mare during his heyday siring offspring, which won more than $US127 million across all three Triple Crown races and the Breeders’ Cup, among others, according to Blood Horse.

“Having a great stallion like [Tapit] is absolutely transformational,” Beck told Bloomberg, adding that he was able to buy a 33% share in Tapit for only $US3 million back in 2004 after the horse earned only $US557,000 in race winnings during it’s unremarkable career.

Beck estimates the horse is now worth $US120 million on the open market.

Breeders looking to mate their mares with Tapit are already being forced to book dates into next year and his owners are already predicting another price increase.

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