04/29/2007 11:00PM

Demorest, trainer, dies at 54


Gary Demorest, a prominent trainer at Hastings, died Saturday of complications stemming from kidney failure. He was 54 and had been hospitalized near Vancouver, British Columbia.

According to Demorest's assistant, Ned Sams, Demorest was taken off of life support around 4:30 p.m. and died within a few hours. Demorest had been in a coma for more than a week.

"Doctors couldn't figure out exactly what was causing his kidneys to fail," Sams said. "His heart wasn't holding up to the stress, so they decided to take him off of life support."

A former jockey, Demorest was the leading trainer at Hastings in 2005 and third in last year's standings. He trained many stakes winners, including the 2005 British Columbia Derby winner, Spaghetti Mouse.

Demorest's primary clients were Nick and Pauline Felicella, who own Spaghetti Mouse.

"He not only was an excellent trainer," said Nick Felicella, "but he was also a great guy. He was always helping grooms and hotwalkers, or anyone in the backstretch that needed something. We're all very sad, and he will certainly be missed."

Horses trained by Demorest, Tango Mango and Restless Lady, won two races on Saturday.

Demorest is survived by his 8-year-old daughter, Sydney. Funeral services were pending, said Sams.