Smokester, sire of California champion Free House, died Feb. 21 while breeding at the Sahadi family's Cardiff Stud Farms near Atascadero, Calif. The 17-year-old stallion was coming off his best year, with 2004 progeny earnings of $2.6 million.
Free House won California Horse of the Year titles in 1997-98 racing as a homebred for John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery. Trained by Paco Gonzalez, Free House was a grade I winner three consecutive years, placed in all three Triple Crown events, and earned a career total of $3.1 million. He stood at Frank "Scoop" Vessels' Vessels Stallion Farm near Bonsall, Calif., prior to his death last July.
Smokester (Never Tabled--Small World, by Transworld) raced for a partnership that included Toffan, McCaffery, and Gonzalez, winning two of four starts and earning $35,600. He first stood at Rio Vista Rancho in California.
Smokester sired nine stakes winners, 16 stakes-placed runners, and the earners of $13.6 million. He is represented by other graded winners Ninebanks and Areyoutalkintome, whose latest stakes win came in the Jan. 2 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III). Areyoutalkintome and another Smokester son, Bagshot, are both Cal Cup winners.
Smokester is represented by 28 2-year-olds and 16 yearlings this year.