Trainers choose horses for 100-days challnege | Emerald Downs

They’re off and running in the inaugural 100-Day Trainer Challenge

The five trainers each have selected a former Thoroughbred to retrain, and they have until October 5 to teach their horse a new discipline.

The five Challenge horses-two geldings, two fillies and one mare-all raced at Emerald Downs and were provided by Emerald Downs owners and trainers, who will receive a share of the proceeds when the horses are sold privately after the 100-Day Trainer Challenge.

Here is a synopsis of the horses:

Dakota Demon, a 3-year-old Washington-bred filly by Demon Warlock-Mystic Power, will be trained by Mark Bolender of Silver Creek, Wash. Bolender, who specializes in Extreme Trail/Western, drew a dark bay or brown filly owned by WilWin Stable and bred by Allaire Farms. Dakota Demon scored a 1 ¾-length maiden win at Emerald Downs last August, and also ran in the 2012 Diane Kem Stakes.

The Last Say, a 6-year-old Washington-bred mare by Makors Mark-Martha Say, is trained by Meika Decher of Lake Stevens, Wash. Decher, whose specialty is Three-Day Eventing, gets a bay daughter of 2001 Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting Makors Mark, who finished fourth as the betting favorite in her lone career start for trainer Howard Belvoir. Owned by Dr. Jenyka Bergsma, The Last Say’s damsire, Tough Knight, was one of the fastest sprinters in state history.

Underfunded Fun, a 4-year-old California-bred filly by Under Caution-Royal Fun, is trained by Ruel Johnson of Polulsbo, Wash., Johnson specializes in Hunter/Jumper, and gets a chestnut filly owned and bred by Petra Lewin. Underfunded Fun competed at Emerald Downs and Portland Meadows, and is the younger sister of the fast Emerald Downs sprinter Royal Game.

Summer Snow, a 9-year-old Washington-bred gelding by Snowbound-Dance Like Laura, will be trained in Three-Day Eventing by Devin Robel of Eugene, Ore. Owned by Joe and Kari Toye’s Terra Firma Farm, the speedy gray gelding Summer Snow is the most experienced runner in the group. He raced 41 times at six tracks and had six total wins-three vs. Thoroughbreds and three in mixed-breed races.

Solar, a 7-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Include-Desert Liaison, will be trained in Dressage by Chesna Klimek of Rainier, Wash. Owned by Jack and Theresa Hodge of Oak Crest Farm, the dark bay or brown filly raced at Emerald Downs and Golden Gate Fields in 2008-09 and is the older brother of Grade 1-winning filly Sutra.

The 100-Day Trainer Challenge concludes Saturday, October 5, with the Thoroughbred Only Horse Show, where trainers will be judged in three categories: In-Hand, Flat Class, Freestyle Class.  The winner will be decided by a combination of public voting on social media and judges’ scores.

The 100-Day Trainer Challenge end goal is placement of the five horses into permanent homes through a private sale.

More information on the trainers is available at:

The Prodigious Fund is an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting positive efforts made within the Thoroughbred aftercare community for the re-homing, promotion and care of retired racehorses.

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