It slows down in June, so thoroughbreds enjoy a four- or five-month sex romp with a whole lot of food to meet energy demands. A group of supervisors lead the stallion to the mare (female) in the shed to make sure the deed gets done.

They then examine a small semen sample to make sure it will swim adequately. “He’s got great libido and great energy.” PHOTOS: Triple Crown winners | Triple Crown misses Horses do need a break from all that unemotional sex, so for half the year, they don't breed at all.

It's a form of high-stakes gambling." In the fall, stallions are “booked” for the spring, but not necessarily on specific dates.

Breeders only pay the stud fee when the mares produce a foal that can stand on its own 11 months later.

It started at ,000 in 2005 but since his offspring have had so much success on the track, it’s risen incrementally over the last decade, said Michael Hernon, director of sales at Gainesway Farm, where Tapit stands.


Breeding season runs from February to July because the heat helps female fertility.It’s like any other market, so cost will rise and fall based on demand.MORE: Best Kentucky Derby horse names since 2000, ranked "It's a form of handicapping, like at the track.It's a similar sort of process," said Glenye Cain Oakford, an author and bloodstock business correspondent for "Farms take calculated risks buying horses and paying stud fees for their mares.

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