Central Kentucky Horseman West Dead

Dr. R. Smiser West, owner of Waterford Farm near Midway, Ky., with his wife, Kathryn, died the afternoon of Dec. 20 at Samaritan Hospital in Lexington. West, who was in his mid-90s, had spent the last week at the hospital.

A retired dentist, West bred a number of stakes winners, many in partnership with his wife and Hall of Fame trainer MacKenzie Miller and his wife, Martha. The group included champion filly Chilukki and grade I winners Lite Light and Tweedside.

Chilukki was champion 2-year-old filly of 1999 after winning five graded stakes, including the Oak Leaf (gr. I) and Vinery Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Stakes. She ran second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Chilukki also was a grade II winner the next two years.

Lite Light won four grade I stakes as a 3-year-old in 1991, including the Kentucky (gr. I), Santa Anita (gr. I), and Coaching Club American (gr. I) Oaks. Ten years later, Tweedside scored her big win in the CCA Oaks.

The Wests and Miller also bred De La Rose, who was champion turf female as a 3-year-old in 1981. De La Rose beat males on several occasions that year, mostly notably in a division of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT).

West grew up on a farm outside Nashville, Tenn., and handled horses and mules while growing up on a farm. His father, who was in the construction business, moved the family to Central Kentucky after buying a farm.

West built Waterford into a leading commercial breeding and consigning outfit, and he and Miller raced the occasional filly. De La Rose sold for $500,000 at the 1979 Saratoga yearling sale, which at the time was the highest price in history for a filly there.

A World War veteran who reached the rank of major, West is survived by his wife and sons Bob and Henry.

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