De la Soul Tops KEENOV Session Seven

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Three-year-old De la Soul (More Than Ready), offered in foal to fast-starting freshman sire Gun Runner, topped all returns Tuesday as Book 4 of the Keeneland November Sale concluded.

A total of $9,455,400 changed hands for the session at an average of $31,623 (up 60.07% year over year compared to last year's auction conducted in the pre-vaccine era of the pandemic) and median of $23,000 (up 91.67%). The buyback rate was 11.54% compared to 13.11% 12 months ago.

The cumulative gross now sits at $186,168,500–it was $140,214,700 through the same number of sessions last year but with 178 fewer sellers. The 2021 sale average is $110,159 (up 18.79% from $92,735) and median is $60,000 (up 42.86% from $42,000). The overall RNA rate is 18.98% vs. 22.18% at this point last year.

Consigned by Shack Parrish's Indian Creek as hip 2454, unraced De la Soul was a $210,000 Keeneland September yearling of 2019. A granddaughter of GISW Harmony Lodge (Hennessy) from a deep female family that also includes Arkansas Derby winners Magnum Moon and Graeme Hall, De La Soul was purchased Tuesday by Jon Marshall. Marshall has enjoyed past success with Gun Runner–he bred last year's $270,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings topper by the 2017 Horse of the Year.

For the second straight day, a Not This Time colt was the priciest weanling–Tuesday's top foal was hip 2565, who was purchased for $150,000 by Stony Pointe Farm from Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent XXXI. The Mar. 19 foal was bred by Taylor Made Stallions, Inc.'s Not This Time Mare Syndicate. Dam Kombat Kitty (Wildcat Heir) is already responsible for stakes winner Wildcat Kate (Kantharos), and was purchased for $55,000 at the 2018 renewal of this sale while in foal to Keen Ice.

The November sale continues through Friday, concluding with a Horses of Racing Age section that day.

Visit www.keeneland.com for more information.

Audible Filly a Nice Sale for Rice

Breeder Julia B. Rice celebrated a stellar sale Tuesday at Keeneland when her Audible weanling filly (hip 2399) brought $130,000 from Wark Bloodstock. The half-sister to 2020 GIII Kitten's Joy S. winner Island Commish (Commissioner) was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

The filly's dam Bide a Wee Island (Sligo Bay {Ire}), a half-sister to Canadian MGSW Something Extra (Indian Charlie) and two other Woodbine stakes horses, was claimed for $12,500 when she broke her maiden in November of 2014. She produced a first foal in Ontario in 2016, and was shipped down to Rice's 25-acre farm in Georgetown with her colt by her side. Rice was then given the mare as a gift, and the first foal she bred out of her was Island Commish, who she sold for $20,000 at this sale in 2017.

Next came a Cinco Charlie filly who brought $22,000 the following season; a $30,000 Not This Time filly named Money Taker who is currently two and reportedly well-regarded by trainer Bret Calhoun; and a Cloud Computing colt who sold for $25,000 here 12 months ago and then $40,000 as a yearling out in Washington.

When it was time to pick a mate for Bide a Wee Island last year, Rice decided to up the stud fee a bit, as Island Commish had just provided the big pedigree boost with his graded stakes win in early January.

“I wanted to give the mare a little more opportunity after the first foal I bred out of her was a graded stakes winner,” said Rice. “I really liked Audible's physique, and one thing I really like about the mare is that her foals look exactly like the stallion–they don't look like her. She's a small mare, but her foals tend to have the exact physical as the stallion… Taylor Made did a fantastic job, helping secure the season [to Audible] and also representing this filly. They treat me like a big owner, and it's greatly appreciated.”

WinStar inmate Audible's first foals have been well received at Keeneland–they're averaging $120,625 here, including a $360,000 filly that topped Sunday's session.

When asked to describe her Audible filly, Rice said, “She's an April foal, so she's average sized, but she's a very pretty, but tough filly. I told the buyers that–she's got an attitude. She's been a handful at times. She's a very nice physical; well-balanced. She's going to be a nice-looking yearling for the people who have bought her.”

Bide a Wee Island is currently in foal to the late Laoban.

Rice owns just two broodmares–she bought the other one for $1–and mostly boards mares from out of state who are shipping in be covered by Kentucky stallions. She purchased her property when she was in her mid-20s, and has worked many industry jobs, including riding and breaking yearlings–MGISW Marquetry, who she broke at Juddmonte, is one of her all-time favorites–and at one point had her trainer's license.

“I've been on horseback since I was two,” Rice said. “I was raised on a farm that had horses, but pleasure horses. Mom and dad got into the racing business in the 80s. I like to say they bought high and sold low, and they never wanted back in, but that put the bug into me when I was in college at [the University of Kentucky].”

Some of the proceeds from Tuesday's sale may find their way back to Rice's alma mater: “It's very exciting for me. I'm a mom of three, and my youngest is a senior in high school. She's going to go to UK hopefully next year, and this certainly helps out.”

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