Legends – Thoroughbred & Trainer
Windfields & A.E. (Bert) Alexandra
Among the cornerstones in the fabled racing and breeding empire that E.P. Taylor built are A.E. (Bert) Alexandra and Windfields, a horse whose name is synonymous with this historic dynasty.
Alexandra, son of an English trainer, was introduced in 1936 to a young businessman who was interested in starting a small racing stable. A skilled trainer whose forte was claiming horses, Alexandra had been weaned and raised on racetracks and rode his first winner in Mexico at age 13. He sold Taylor one of his horses, Madfast, and within a week had claimed or bought five others in Maryland. Five of the six were immediate winners. One of them, Jack Patches, would win a stakes race, and a filly, Nandi, would later foal Windfields, who many claimed at that time was the fastest horse ever bred in Canada.
Windfields, the first horse to ship to Canada by air in 1946, defeated King’s Plate winner Kingarvie in the Breeders’ Stakes following his flight from New York. He was the first stakes winner bred by Taylor. His early successes with Alexandra convinced him that horse racing might be a profitable hobby to go along with his burgeoning brewing enterprises. Mona Bell, the great stakes winning filly of the 1930s and a member of Canada’s Hall of Fame, and Epic, Taylor’s first Plate winner in 1949, were also trained by Alexandra, a man who shied from overt publicity.
Windfields won the Victoria Stakes at Old Woodbine in 1945 and was undefeated in Canada (4-for-4), but was campaigned mainly in New York and California. One of his best performances was his second-place finish in the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont to Triple Crown winner Assault. At stud Windfields’ best son was Queen’s Plate winner and Horse Of The Year Canadian Champ.