Fred Bradley, William Bradley
In the span of five days, Groupie Doll won her second consecutive $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, then was sold for $3.1 million to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. She was the Bradley family’s second incredibly successful homebred, following $2.1 million earner Brass Hat. Both horses were born and raised at the Bradleys’ Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort, Kentucky. Both horses were trained by William “Buff” Bradley.
Fred Bradley, the family’s 85-year-old patriarch, was successful in many endeavors. Born in Frankfort, he graduated from the University of Kentucky with a journalism degree in 1953, then received a law degree from the University of Kentucky six years later. That allowed him to serve as counsel for the Kentucky Racing Commission for ten years and as a judge in Franklin County. He also became a Kentucky State Senator. He was a fighter pilot during a long military career, and he founded his own trucking company, Fred’s Fast Freight, which he owned and used to transport horses right up to his death (20th May 2016).
Fred used to gallop horses that he trained at defunct Miles Park in Louisville and Mountaineer Park, then called Waterford Park, in West Virginia. That seems a long way from winning multiple graded stakes with home-breds from his own farm.
His son, Buff, helped him reach that lofty destination. Buff, whose nickname is short for “Buffalo Bill,” is nearing 3,800 career victories and $11 million in career earnings as a trainer. Now 50, Buff graduated from Kentucky State University with a business management degree, but he always knew his business would be horses. He worked as an assistant trainer for Clarence Picou before starting his own stable in 1993. His success with Brass Hat, who began his career as a $15,000 claimer, was followed by Groupie Doll’s exceptional career.
Longtime family friends Carl Hurst, a retired judge, and Brent Burns, a singer/songwriter from Alabama, have been along for the ride with Groupie Doll. Hurst has known Fred since they were five years old.
To read Trainer Magazine's cover profile on Buff Bradley, click here