Washington-bred gelding (b. 2001)
By Free House-Cocktails Anyone
Career (2003-2008): 33-9-3-4 $77,871
Free Cocktails currently resides in Puyallup, where he’s enjoying a full life at age 12 under the care of Lisa Hoonan-Trujillo.
Northwest racing fans undoubtedly remember Free Cocktails as a fast sprinter, good enough to win eight-of-21 starts at Emerald Downs. At the track, expert care and personal attention came from trainer Sharon Ross and jockey Debbie Hoonan. Nicknamed “Martini”, the son of Free House and Cocktails Anyone broke his maiden June 25, 2004, scoring a one-length victory over future Longacres Mile winner No Giveaway.
Jockey Debbie Hoonan, who rode Free Cocktails in all nine of his victories and virtually every day as an exercise rider, said the gelding was a great partner. “He’s an awesome horse,” Hoonan said. “I’m so happy I got to know him. He was cool to ride, too.”
Ross also remembers Free Cocktails fondly. “Debbie did all the work with him,” Ross said. “Going up to train, she’d stand him in the grass for long periods. She could keep him calm, even with all that activity going on around them. I knew he’d transition well after racing was over.”
After his racing career ended in 2008, Ross, Hoonan and Hoonan-Trujillo teamed up to make sure Free Cocktails had a good new home. Hoonan-Trujillo discovered that “Martini” loved to trail ride, but she also felt he wanted to do more. So in came Celeste Wold of High Point Equestrian Center in Tacoma, whose skill
Hoonan-Trujillo had observed with a number of horses.
Free Cocktails can be a handful to ride, but Wold is bringing out his best and has the gelding performing western gaming and other activities.
“Once a trust was established, he’s pretty willing to do just about anything,” Wold said. “He’s smart and very fast. He’ll learn a new discipline just by watching the other horses.”
It’s no great surprise to Ross, who recalled Free Cocktails as a talented racehorse.
“He could sprint and sprint fast,” she said.
One of his 2006 victories was against a field that included Westsideclyde, Call Columbo and Chickasaw Park.
In one of his sharpest victories, Free Cocktails won an Ashbaugh Beal Starter Stakes in 1:08 2/5 on October 1, 2006. It was especially fitting since Rick Beal, owner of Free Cocktails, was sponsor of the Ashbaugh Beal series.