Challenge Championships: Dean Frey

This Challenge supporter earns two year-end awards.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
November 7, 2013

dean frey

Dean Frey and Shez Jess Toxic. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

The 2013 John Deere Leading Owner and Vetrolin Leading Trainer Dean Frey is probably going to have to sit down and rest after the conclusion of the Bank of America Challenge Championships on November 9 at Los Alamitos. Not just because he will be busy saddling horses in the event, but also because it took him thousands of miles to get there.

Frey will saddle his own Snowboundbeast in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G2) and Shez Jess Toxic in the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), as well as several undercard runners. Frey has been a leading supporter of the Challenge in recent years, both as an owner and a trainer. This year he campaigned in regional races around the country, from Oklahoma to Canada to California, and he won both awards. It’s the first time someone has won the owner and trainer awards in the same year in the Challenge’s history.

As the leading owner, he will receive a John Deere Gator utility vehicle and a custom Montana Silversmiths belt buckle.

As the leading trainer, he will receive $5,000 in cash, a Tex-Tan saddle, a custom Montana Silversmiths buckle and product from Vetrolin.

Frey’s dad, Darrell, was a trainer, and moved his family from Oregon to California to train. Dean rode as a jockey for years, then followed in his father’s footsteps as a trainer. He then got a rare opportunity to train for Sheik Mohammed, and trained Arabians for about 20 years.

He has now returned his focus to training Quarter Horses, in addition to working as a horse hauler.

Snowboundbeast (Snowbound (TB)-Going Single by Mr Eye Opener) has only lost one of his six starts this year. The other five he has won by daylight, including his track-record setting victory in the Adequan Evergreen Derby Challenge.

“One of my longtime clients raised him, and they were downsizing their business a little bit and asked me if I was interested in him,” Frey says. “He’s a nice horse.”

His record stands at five wins in seven outs, with earnings of $32,131.

Bred by Anita Bramlette of Perris, California, Snowboundbeast is a full brother to stakes-placed runner Ivlis ($23,410). His dam, Going Single, comes from one of the sport’s leading dam lines, emerging from the 1977 mare Jaimie Jay. Going Single’s dam is Stellar Queen, a daughter of Teller Queen.  

Frey bred and races 4-year-old Shez Jess Toxic (Take Off Jess-Dashing Fly Lady by Victory Dash), who has earned 70 percent of her career $124,637 earnings in Challenge competition.

Frey consigned her to the Heritage Place Yearling Sale and bought her back when she drew a low $5,000 bid – a very fortuitous event.

“She’s just always done what we’ve asked of her,” he says.

The mare won the 2011 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos, just a few months after his dad passed away.

“That was something I always wanted to share with him, but it never happened,” Dean says.

Earlier this year, she won the Merial Remington Distaff Challenge, and in her most recent start was third in a close decision behind Check N Fetch in the Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1).

While Frey is hoping for a crowning achievement on Challenge Championship night, he knows he will saddle good horses.

“I’m real excited about both of them,” he says.

The 21st Bank of America Challenge Championships are November 9 at Los Alamitos Race Course at Los Alamitos, California. Watch the festivities live on Q-Racing Video at and stay tuned to complete coverage from the Q-Racing Journal at