American Pharoah set to win big with stud fees

american pharoah
American Pharoah has won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, collecting $2 million so far.

American Pharoah's biggest payday won't be on a race track, even if he wins at Belmont and takes the Triple Crown.

The big money will come from the stud fees that his owners are almost certain to collect.

The thoroughbred has already won $2 million at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and he'll collect an $800,000 prize if he also takes the Belmont Stakes on June 6.

But American Pharoah could collect between $60,000 and $75,000 for every foal, even if he doesn't win at Belmont, according to Evan Hammonds, executive editor of BloodHorse, the trade publication that covers the horse breeding industry.

Related: Horse racing's dark side - Jockeys are most injured, underpaid pros

If Pharoah does win Belmont, he'll become the first horse in 37 year to capture the Triple Crown. In that case, his owners may try to get $100,000, Hammonds added.

"But that would be a pretty tough sell if you ask me," he added.

A horse can father 100 foals a year, which means Pharoah could make at least $6 million next year just for breeding.

That kind of stud money means most successful racing careers are short ones.

The Kentucky Derby for beginners
The Kentucky Derby for beginners

Another race puts American Pharoah at risk for an injury that could require his owners to put him down before he ever gets put out to stud. And if Pharoah began losing, his stud fees also could decline.

"If he wins the Belmont, you won't see him race again," said Hammonds.

Related: How the 1% roll at the Kentucky Derby

It's not just his success on the track that makes American Pharoah so valuable. It's also his blood lines.

His father, Pioneerof the Nile, (that's not a typo) has been making $60,000 per foal because he's fathered so many successful horses. And that rate is likely to climb next year given Pharoah's success.

California Chrome, which won the Derby and Preakness last year, hasn't been put out to stud yet since his blood lines aren't as prestigious. His stud fee is probably in the the neighborhood of $25,000.

So his owners decided to race him for another year. He went to the Dubai World Cup where he placed second, scoring another $2 million in winnings.

Personal Finance

CNNMoney Sponsors