High-Stakes Bidding on Million-Dollar Horses

People from all over the world come to Lexington, Kentucky in hopes of finding prized race horses and derby glory.
6:33 | 11/12/14

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Transcript for High-Stakes Bidding on Million-Dollar Horses
So, how do you breed a million that are stallion? You're about to meet some well heeled humans placing high hopes and a lot of money on their four-legged friends. Olympic skier bode miller has his take on how to train these animals poised for greatness. But they all have to start somewhere. Here's ABC's Byron Pitts. ? Reporter: This is bluegrass country. Lexington, Kentucky. Every year, buyers and sellers. Millionaires and billionaires, come here to a picturesque place for the largest thoroughbred auction on Earth. I'm shell shocked. This is $1,600,000. Reporter: Mandy just spent $1.6 million on a horse that's never race raced, never been ridden. He's big, he's strong. He's sensible. Reporter: And expensive. He's expensive. If you want to be at the top, that's what you do. And then you pray a lot. Reporter: She's praying her new horse will win day win racing's holy grail. The triple crown. She runs the business from her home in Ocala, Florida. Very sweet. He's a good boy. Hopefully he'll make it as a stallion and he's going to be worth $20 million, $30 million in a couple of years. Reporter: Make no mistake. This is not her first rodeo. Mandy paid a record $10 million for breeding mare two years ago. They're off in the Kentucky derby! Reporter: In the past nine years, graduates here have gone on to win half of all triple crown races. Se animal kingdom won the Kentucky derby in 2011. Someone's probably hoping to find a derby winner at least. Reporter: It's her job to sell horses for this farm, the largest consigner of horses this year. They are just trying to get their final looks in and decide which ones they want to bid on. Reporter: Occasionally Allaire has her favorites. Just a neat horse. Put together very well. Got good natural bone and muscle substance. And a great brain. Reporter: Her client list, a global who's who of power and privilege. Their private planes line up while they shop. The excitement of a horse race is incredible. Reporter: Olympic skiing star bode miller is part of the new generation of investors. Horses that are under appreciated here, that can still race in the future, some of the horses that are going for over $1 million are never going to see the racetrack. Reporter: Long an advocate for innovation in his own sport, miller hopes to revolutionize the way horses are chosen and train trained. The technology that's available now, applying that to horse racing is a no brainer. But no one is doing it right now. It's an easy way for me to get involved. Reporter: Where are you from, sir? Japan. Reporter: Jab Papan. How is it going so far? I cannot speak English. Reporter: They are all fluent in horse. A language spoken in a whisper. People are very secretive around here. It takes a lot of work. Reporter: Horses are more than just a business. It's nice to see the way you smile when you talk about horses. This is in your blood. I haven't injected myself with horse blood, but it is. Reporter: William runs the farm with his son, bill. He's been at this for 45 years. Someone's going to spend $600,000, $700,000 on a horse that's never been ridden. Never been in a race. No clue how it's going to do. Absolutely. It's absolutely insane. Reporter: We were surprised to see million dollar decisions made more on gut instincts than science. They look at the legs and what else? The way is horse is built. The slope of the shoulder. They're all things that make the horse either sound or not. Reporter: Nationally, horse racing is a $10 billion a year industry. As an auctioneer, Ryan may than is at the center of it all. I'm not creating the music, but I'm kind of driving the engine. In the back, $250,000. Reporter: You don't see people standing up and waving their arms. We just sold a horse for $450,000, it was just a wink. Reporter: He's seen the hunt for glory give way to anguish. There is great heartache. There is -- these are fragile legs and bones. It crushes you when things go wrong. Reporter: Barbar O's triple crown dreams were shattered when he broke his leg. He was eventually ewe thanized. But it's that risk reward and the love of these magnificent animals which brings the faithful back year after year. And no one has more faith than Fred Mitchell. Get on up here. That's my man, Fred. Reporter: Fred is many things. Blue blood is not one of them. He's the talk of the seaale, having sold a horse for $1.2 million. His first million dollar baby. At my age, it means a lot. It will be handed down to our girls. They've got something to look forward to. Reporter: His farm has been in family since 1764. That was one thing that was in my mind when I sold, a million dollars. How proud would my father have been of me? Reporter: What did you do to celebrate? I went home and got on the tractor and mowed some paddocks. Reporter: As far Mandy, she's celebrating another way. Expensive glass of champagne. It is. You think they'll give me a bottle? Reporter: She's raising a glass to her horse's bright future. Cheers. Cheers to him. Come here. Reporter: Champagne dream even the horse can indulge. That's all you can have. Not too sure you like it, though. Reporter: For Mandy and many here, it's not just about the race or the possible riches, it is the romance. So good. Reporter: For "Nightline" -- Such a good boy. Reporter: I'm Byron Pitts in Lexington, Kentucky.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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