Hard Not to Like sells for $2.2 million at Keeneland November

Hard Not to Like managed to top her own performance in the sales pavilion from just one year ago, selling for $2.2 million to Tom Ryan’s Dattt Stables during Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale.

The six-year-old daughter of Hard Spun sold to Speedway Stables for $1.5 million to Speedway Stables at last year’s Keeneland November sale and went on to provide that partnership of Peter Fluor and K. C. Weiner their first top-level victories as owners this season.

Hard Not to Like won the Grade I Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita Park on May 25 and defeated a field that included eventual Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tepin and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf victor Stephanie’s Kitten in the Grade I Diana Stakes at Saratoga on July 25.

“It was obviously great fun with her this year,” Fluor said of selling Hard Not to Like. “I grew up in Arcadia and I used to go to Santa Anita Park with my father when I was 6 or 7 years old. So when she won the Gamely, I kind of flashed back about 60 years earlier and said ‘What are the chances I’d be sitting here’ as she came into the winner’s circle. It was very exciting for her and she’s in great shape.”

Consigned by Taylor Made Farm, Hard Not to Like is out of the stakes winning Tactical Cat mare Like a Gem. Gary Bush, who signed the ticket as agent for Dattt Stables, said there is a chance the gray mare could race once more this year, likely in the Grade I Matriarch at Del Mar on November 29.

“We’re glad to have her, we’re looking for a nice filly to add to the broodmare band,” Bush said. “She may race one more time, we’ll see how it goes. The top mares are still top, you still have a pay a lot of money for those. No one wants to pay that (price) but that’s where it is at the top and that’s where we’re shopping.”

Hard Not to Like has won eight of 21 starts including three Grade I wins and has earnings of $1,261,921.