Benjamin Leon’s $8.5 Million Mare

In November 2011, Benjamín León went to Lexington, Kentucky to buy a racehorse. Not just any racehorse—he had his eye on one in particular, and he was, he said last weekend, determined to get her no matter what.

He actually bought nine horses at the Keeneland November sale that year, spending $22.4 million on fillies and mares, but $8.5 million of that went to one horse: Royal Delta, who days earlier had won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs.

How high was he willing to go?

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