WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (11/28/12) – Fred Bradley has done a little bit of everything since leaving Webster County. Bradley earned a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky in 1953 and briefly ran The Journal-Enterprise before returning to UK to get a law degree in 1959. He started practicing law while also getting into a variety of business ventures, most notably a trucking firm that he still owns, and in 1967, he purchased 320 acres of farmland in the Frankfort. The same year he went to Vietnam as an Air Force pilot. He eventually retired as a reservist in April 1991 with the rank of brigadier general.
Bradley’s father, James Lamar Bradley bought The J-E and moved his family to Providence in 1931, the same year his wife gave birth to Fred.
Fred Bradley grew up in Providence, and still remembers it as a good place to grow up. He was valedictorian in 1949 and was Captain of the Providence football team.
He mentioned the recent passing of J.D. Rayburn and recalled one story about Rayburn and his wife.
“His wife was the band leader, and he was the basketball coach,” Bradley said. “He wanted me to play basketball, and she wanted me to play the drums. So I did both. I would go up on stage and play the drums in my uniform at halftime.”
After high school Bradley went to the UK School of Journalism. Following his graduation his father got sick and called Fred home to serve as temporary Editor of the paper.
“I loved the paper life,” Bradley said “We had a good paper. I was real proud of it then and I still am.”
When his father returned to work, Fred Bradley entered the Air force. He spent 38 years in the Air force and Air National Guard, eventually rising to the rank of brigadier general.
Of all the things he’s done, he said flying was his favorite.
“I flew the F-86,” he said. He accumulated 8,000 hours of flying time, serving in both Korea and Vietnam as a photo reconnaissance pilot.
The military service paid for Bradley to go back to UK, where the second time he earned a law degree.
Following his second college graduation he spent time as a county judge and as the attorney for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
But what Fred Bradley is best known for his horses. Fast horses. Among them Brass Hat, a now retired multimillionaire, and four-year old filly Groupie Doll, who has already amassed over $1 million in earnings.
Groupie Doll wrapped up the championship for the year’s outstanding female sprinter with a commanding victory in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint at the Breeder’s Cup in Santa Anita, Ca. on Nov. 3.
“People tell me that because she won a million dollar race that makes me a millionaire,” he joked. “The owners actually make 60 percent of the purse, so that’s down to $600,000 right off. My son, Buff, and I both own 40 percent while Carl Hurts of Madisonville and another friend in Alabama each own ten percent. Then the jokey and trainer each get ten percent of the winnings.”
However much he actually brought home, he puts it to good use. Bradley’s owns and breeds horses, while the training is up to his son William “Buff” Bradly. “Buff” Bradley Racing Stable is based at Churchill Downs in Louisville for most of the year, but relocate during the winter months to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Right now Bradley said he has 28 horses at Churchill downs.
“It takes one good horse to pay for the rest of the horses,” he said with a laugh.
Fred’s love of horses started with his father. When they were running the newspaper he said they would go to Dade Park, now Ellis Park, every day of the 26 day meet.
“It's was the only time the paper didn’t get out promptly,” he joked.
As you can tell, even at 81 and suffering from health problems resulting from a fall that left him with five ribs stabbing through his stomach, Fred Bradley remains a positive man.
“I really got my start through Huley Hudson,” Bradley recalls. “I spent one winter going to his farm every day, learning about horses. He was a really good man.”
His first horse cost him $2,000, more than his 320 acre farm. He has now owned two horses worth over a million dollars.
J-E News Editor
Copyright © 2012 SurfKY News Group, Inc. all rights reserved. SurfKY.com is an eNewspaper providing local news FREE to Kentucky 24/7. Read Statewide Kentucky News, Sports, Obituaries and more from the following Kentucky Counties: Calloway, Christian, Daviess, Fayette (Lexington), Henderson, Hopkins, Logan, McCracken, Muhlenberg, Warren, and Webster Counties as well as the Kentucky Lakes Area.
|< Prev||Next >|