Updated on 09/17/2011 2:06PM

Free House dead after fall


, the popular California-bred whose victories included the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap, and Del Mar's Pacific Classic, died in an accident on Monday at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, Calif., where he had been standing at stud since his retirement. He was 10.

Free House died when, while being bathed, he reared over, fell backwards, and struck his head, according to Rich Decker, the farm manager at Vessels. Decker said Free House would be buried on the farm.

In four years on the racetrack, Free House won 9 times in 22 starts and earned $3,178,971 while trained by Paco Gonzalez. He won the Norfolk Stakes at 2, finished second or third in all three Triple Crown races at 3, won the Pacific Classic at 4 and the Santa Anita Handicap at age 5. With his near-white coat and expressive eyes, he had a legion of loyal fans.

Free House, a son of Smokester, was bred and owned by Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan. At stud, he was owned by McCaffery, Toffan, and the Vessels Stallion Farm of Scoop and Bonnie Vessels.

Free House's oldest crop is only age 3, and is headed by the filly House of Fortune, whose victories include Oaklawn's Fantasy Stakes and the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks.