WH Kenny G stuns field in Bradford Stakes

A talented field of horses from out of state assembled at Indiana Grand Saturday, July 8 for the 19th running of the $52,900 Bradford Stakes. However, it was an Indiana bred that took home the title in the race as W H Kenny G and Jockey Harold Collins stunned the crowd with the upset win in a time of :19.778.

WH Kenny G battled all the way to the wire for Jockey Harold Collins to stun the field for the victory in the Bradford Stakes. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post two in the 10-horse field, WH Kenny G was in the mindset to win the race from the start. He began his battle shortly out of the gate and vied for the lead throughout the entire 400-yard dash. Horses were spread out across the track at the finish and there was no clear-cut winner until the photo revealed WH Kenny G as the victor, winning by neck over TF Jess A Leader and James Flores. Jess A Dollar and Jose Davila was another head back in third. A total of two and one-half lengths separated the top eight horses at the wire, showing how tight the finish was in the end.

“Ron (Brown) told me before the race to ride him like I own him,” said Collins, Indiana Grand’s all-time leading Quarter Horse jockey in wins. “We had to wait in the gate a long time and we really owe a lot to the handler. He was able to back him up and get his legs set underneath him and we got a great start. I just let him do his thing and stayed out of his way until he got his feet up underneath him and then I did my thing and went to work. I really want to thank Ron (Brown) for putting me on this horse. If he hadn’t put me up on him I wouldn’t have had a horse in this race at all.”

The connections of WH Kenny G accept the trophy for the Bradford Stakes from Dianne Bennett, executive director of the QHRAI, and Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Completely overlooked by the betting public, WH Kenny G paid $75.20, $28.40 and $18.20 across the board for his win. The four-year-old son of Gold Medal Jess is now eight for 18 lifetime and boosted his career earnings over the $200,000 mark for owner Robert Ray and Ron Brown. Brown serves as the trainer of the former Indiana bred freshman standout.

“He (WH Kenny G) had a really good two-year-old season and he raced well last year, he just didn’t win any of the big ones,” said Brown. “Everything just came together tonight. He is as good right now as a man can get him. There were some big dogs in this race from Oklahoma and Texas, so that’s what makes it even more special to win this race. It is also a big boost to the Indiana breeding program for an Indiana bred to win an open stakes race like this.”

Brown was in the winner’s circle minus one of his supporters. His partner, Robert Ray, has been battling some back issues and couldn’t attend the race.

“He (Robert Ray) is always here for the big races,” said Brown. “I’m sorry he couldn’t make it tonight, but I’ll bet he’s doing back flips now.”

Brown spotted WH Kenny G as a yearling in the local sale and purchased him for $10,000. He immediately began paying dividends during his two-year-old season, ending the year with a win in the $193,500 Miss Roxie Little Futurity. Brown hopes to continue the momentum with WH Kenny G in the next round of stakes action at Indiana Grand.

“We will get him ready for the Hoosier Park Classic,” added Brown.