Capital City Museum to salute Fred Bradley’s service to Frankfort on Brass Hat Day
The Capital City Museum will honor former Franklin County Judge, Brigadier General and Kentucky State Senator Fred F. Bradley for his many years of service to Frankfort and especially his generosity towards the museum on Brass Hat Day.
The public event will take place in the parking lot beside the Capital City Museum, 325 Ann St., from 4:30-7 p.m. Monday, April 26. This party is a fund-raiser for the museum and will feature special guests including the race horse Brass Hat, Franklin County’s most successful thoroughbred!
We’ll have music, a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, big-screen televised Brass Hat races, plus a raffle for a Derby Box for six people at this year’s Kentucky Derby. Admission is $30 per person or you can get a table for ten for $250.
Souvenir Brass Hat lapel pins will soon be available for $2 at the downtown Farmers Bank, Buddy’s Pizza and Capital Cellars on Broadway, Commonwealth Credit Union on High Street, Lyons Hardware in Brighton Park, Daniel Byrd State Farm Insurance on Versailles Road, Adelia’s on U.S. 127 South, Kentucky Car Wash on Louisville Road, and Ocean Breeze Liquors on Versailles Road.
Separate raffle tickets are selling at $10 each. All tickets are available from Brass Hat Steering Committee Members or at the Capital City Museum from 10 to 4 Monday through Saturday.
It began in Indiana
Life started for Fred Bradley not in Kentucky, but in Indiana. Fred is a Hoosier by birth only – all because his grandfather wanted him to be born in a hospital and the nearest hospital to Fred’s hometown of Providence, Ky. was in Evansville, Ind. His parents, James L. and Lasca Bradley, crossed the Ohio River by ferry and at a cost of $35, Fred Bradley came into this world in 1931.
Since then, Fred’s career has included being a farmer, horse breeder, songwriter, Franklin County judge, lawyer, pilot (amassing more than 4,000 flying hours), Brigadier General, businessman, and State Senator. What’s next is anybody’s guess.
To honor Fred Bradley for his sizable financial donations in memory of his 97-year-old mother who passed away in 2006, the Capital City Museum has named our elevator after one of his many business ventures: “Fred’s Fast Freight.” Once you have ridden the elevator you will understand the irony of these words.
Another guest for Brass Hat Day is Fred’s son Buff who grew up on their Franklin County Indian Ridge Farm galloping, breaking, and training horses. Buff opened his own stable in 1993 and guided his first client, John Franks, to the Eclipse Award as 1994’s top owner.
Buff’s star horse, Brass Hat, broke his maiden at 3 in the 2004 Rushaway, won several races and then was out for 13 months with an ankle fracture. After recuperating, Brass Hat won three straight stakes but suffered another injury that sidelined him for a year.
Then in 2006, after a string of impressive wins including the $500,000 Donn Handicap, Brass Hat was invited to participate in “the Richest Race in the World,” the Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba racecourse, which he finished second but was later disqualified in a heartbreaking controversial decision.
In July 2007 the horse won a Churchill allowance race in track-record time and two months later had a win in the Massachusetts Handicap. The year 2008 was a disappointment when the horse went winless in five starts. Taking time off, Brass Hat returned in May 2009 to win the $100,000 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Buff has more than 280 career wins and more than $7.5 million in purse earnings. Among his 14 stakes wins are five graded events with Brass Hat, the nine-year-old gelding by Prize out of the Dixie Brass mare Brassy bred right here in Franklin County. Brass Hat has set two track records in his career, at Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs.
Borel, Bassett coming
The Brass Hat Day celebration will also feature two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel, the recent recipient of the 2010 Santa Anita Park’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a vote of his peers. The Woolf award honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual rider and the sport of thoroughbred racing.
Born in St. Martin Parish, La., Borel won his first recognized race in 1976 – at age 10! “Bo-Rail,” as he is affectionately called because of his propensity to hug the inner rail enroute to heart-pounding victories, is known for being the regular rider of the 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra as well as the jockey for Brass Hat.
Borel, winner of the 2007 Derby with Street Sense, won last year’s Kentucky Derby aboard Mine That Bird, executing the second-biggest upset in Derby history with odds of 50-1. He also won the 2009 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, becoming the first jockey to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown on different mounts.
Our tribute to Fred Bradley and his horse Brass Hat will also recognize special guest decorated WWII veteran James E. “Ted” Bassett III, who has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as Deputy Director of Public Safety and Director of the Kentucky State Police. His involvement with the Keeneland Association spans 42 years, including more than 15 years as president and now holds the title of trustee emeritus.
The recipient of many awards, Bassett has been president of the Breeders’ Cup Ltd. as well as chairman of the World Series Racing Championship and for our Brass Hat Day will do a book-signing of his recently published autobiography.
Liebman to emcee
The perfect choice for Master of Ceremonies for Brass Hat Day is Frankfort native Dan Liebman, the sixth person in 90 years to hold the position of Blood-Horse Magazine Editor in Chief.
No stranger to readers of the State Journal, Dan worked for the paper in the early 1980s as both a sports and news reporter. He left the newspaper to become a columnist for the Daily Racing Form and later was deputy editor for The Racing Times. He first started working for Blood-Horse as a research director and was named Editor in Chief in October of 2007.
He oversees editorial content of this leading Thoroughbred industry weekly magazine and of the Web site. Dan is the former secretary/treasurer of the National Turf Writers Association and former president and Board of Directors member of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Media.
Since the museum opened in 2004 we have experienced fantastic support for the preservation and presentation of Frankfort’s history. Every item in the museum has come from the community. Last year’s opening of the second floor made available new interpretive exhibits including the Veterans’ Hall, the Parks Hall of Fame, Frankfort’s Forgotten Cemetery, Movie Makers from Frankfort and several other exhibits.
Museum board member Hank Hancock has assembled a community Brass Hat Day steering committee consisting of Mary Ann Bogart, Steve Brooks, Gene Burch, Pat Cockerill, Kelly Everman, Winona Fletcher, Ann French Thomas, Danny Garland, Doug Howard, Joy Jeffries, Charlie Jones, Martha Moore, Jimmie Rogers, Louis Tandy, and Layne Wilkinson.
You can get tickets from them or at the museum. Brass Hat Day is an opportunity for the community to gather in celebration of a great horse and a great man. We hope you will join us.