This coming Saturday will be no ordinary one for Alliston resident Fred Brayford. The 76 year old will eagerly wait for 9:42 p.m., post time for the 61st edition of the Maple Leaf Trot, in hopes that Windsong Geant can provide him with another thrilling performance.
The 5-year-old son of Kadabra has been terrific thisyear for Brayford, who co-owns the gelding with The Brabant Stable. With earnings of $129,820 this season, including a new lifetime best of 1:52 and a trip to Sweden to participate in the prestigious Elitlopp, Brayford has much to be thankful for.
"It's hard to complain about the year we've had so far,” Brayford chuckled. "He's done extremely well for us, and we hope that luck continues. Owning a high-level competitive horse is always a fun experience.”
Brayford, who owns and operates Brayford Sod Farm Ltd. since 1972, has owned horses for the better part of 40 years.
"I've been in this business a long time and it never seems to get old,” he said. "It's a fun business to be involved with. I've been involved with a few nice horses in the past and it's a thrilling ride. Being in the winner's circle never gets old.”
Looking ahead to Saturday's historic race, Brayford won't overlook the competition.
"It's a great group of horses and we have our work cut out for us,” he said. "We have two things going for us. One, we have been given a good post (post six) and two, our horse can get off the gate very well. We'll take every inch we can get.”
Brayford admits that Windsong Geant has exceeded his expectations on the racetrack.
"I never thought he'd turn out to be as good as he is,” he admitted. "I have to give credit to (trainer/driver) Rick Zeron for that. He told us that if we wait on him and let him manage him accordingly then good things would happen. Rick was right; he's really blossomed as an older horse.”
After an unsuccessful trip to Sweden, Windsong Geant bounced back last Saturday as he captured the Preferred Trot at Mohawk in 1:52.
"It seems like he's back to his old self,” Brayford explained. "It looks like the trip to Sweden took a lot out of him, as expected, but what a great time for him to get back to his old self with the Maple Leaf Trot around the corner. We won't be the favourite on Saturday, and that's okay. All we can do is hope for racing luck. I'll certainly be there cheering ‘Geant' on.”
With 11 victories and $413,511 inpurse earnings so far in his career, Windsong Geant has nothing to prove to Fred Bayford, but the way the horse has been preparing forSaturday's race, this thrill ride may just well continue. (WEG)