11/05/2014 2:05PM

Keeneland November: Grade 1 winners Her Smile, Hard Not to Like bring strong prices


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

Grade 1 winners Her Smile and Hard Not to Like each sold for $1.5 million, to KatieRich Farm and Speedway Stables, respectively, to help fuel trade during Wednesday's second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

The Include mare Her Smile, who sold in foal to leading sire Tapit, was consigned by Gainesway Farm, which stands that stallion, as agent.

Hard Not to Like, a daughter of Hard Spun, was consigned as a racing or broodmare prospect by Michael C. Byrne, as agent for Hillsbrook Farm.

Her Smile won or placed in seven stakes, earning  $462,314. Her best season came as a 3-year-old in 2011, as she won the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes, finished third in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, and also finished third in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes.

"She's a nice winner at the track, and she's in foal to Tapit, and she's really good-looking," said Larry Doyle of KatieRich, who added that the mare could be booked back to Tapit next spring.

Wednesday's session marked the third time that Her Smile has changed hands at auction, bringing a seven-figure hammer price on each occasion. She sold to Adena Springs at the end of her 3-year-old campaign for $1 million at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale. SF Bloodstock then bought the mare in foal to Ghostzapper for $1,075,000 at the same auction two years later.

Hard Not to Like has been consistent throughout her career, and earned her first Grade 1 victory in a blanket finish in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland this season. Also the winner of the Grade 3 Marshua's River Stakes last year, she has earned $721,671.

John Adger of Speedway Stables said the plan is to keep the 5-year-old in training. 

"I've watched her run before," Adger said. "She's a Grade 1 winner, so we'll take the chance and hopefully we'll have some luck racing and keep her as a broodmare. We'll see how she trains out early in the year and hopefully she'll have a year of racing, even at 6 years old, and then if not, we'll breed her.

Adger said no decision has been made on a 2015 trainer for Hard Not to Like and Leigh Court, a seven-figure purchase at Fasig-Tipton on Monday night.

Hard Not to Like is the only winner out of Canadian classic winner Like a Gem, by Tactical Cat. It is the immediate family of Grade 1 winner and sire Firery Ensign.