Thoroughbred Pedigree in the News -- BRASS HAT

If you haven't read the news, Brass Hat is back in training for a 2009 campaign.  While the grade I-winning son of Prized has never been an iron horse, he has at least been fairly consistent -- and it's always great to have old-timers return to the track.  Horse racing needs more longevity from its stars.

Brass Hat was a late foal in 2001, born May 22 of that year.  While he didn't race as a 2-year-old of 2003, the bay gelding did get an early start as a 3-year-old, running his first race in late January 2004, almost four months before his actual third birthday.  His maiden claiming place effort earned him a jump up in class to a maiden special weight for his second out -- also resulting in a runner-up finish. But the effort was impressive enough to curtail the maiden contests, and Brass Hat took first in his next race, a minor stakes in March of his 3-year-old season -- the first of seven black type wins to date.

Brass Hat (pedigree) descends from the larger Turn-to male line that is today dominated by sons and grandsons of Halo. Other branches of Turn-to's son Hail to Reason are active, however, including a line of Stop the Music and three distinct sources of Roberto.  In addition to Dynaformer (SRO, previous post) and Red Ransom, the Roberto line continues through multiple sons of Kris S., and it's this line that gave us Prized back in 1986. 

Prized was born from a mare with rather obscure pedigree influences, and was the first of five full siblings, of which three were stakes winners and one other was graded-placed. Prized has been a low-key sire and Brass Hat's almost $1.8 million in earnings makes him by far his sire's most important runner -- in fact, Brass Hat accounts for over 7% of Prized's lifetime progeny earnings.

On the bottom half of Brass Hat's five-cross pedigree, we find the unraced mare Brassy, a 1995 daughter of the Dixieland Band stallion Dixie Brass.  Through his dam, Brass Hat's female family 8-c is the same female lineage as the great John Henry -- they both trace back to the 1897 Domino mare Pink Domino, who also produced the multiple champion runner, leading sire, and leading broodmare sire Sweep.  (Fun facts:  Sweep won the 1910 Belmont Stakes and is the damsire of two Triple Crown winners -- Whirlaway and War Admiral.)  Family 8c is also the dam line of Storm Cat, Intent, Sassafras, and other important sires.

Brass Hat has a pedigree that closely mimics the successful sire Arch (SRO).  Where Brass Hat is a grandson of Kris S., Claiborne Farm's Arch is a direct son of that top sire.  Both stallions were produced from the Northern Dancer damsire line -- Arch's dam was by Danzig while Brass Hat's dam is a granddaughter of Dixieland Band.  The sire line nicking continues deeper, however:  the second dams of both Arch and Brass Hat are from the Raise a Native line (through Alydar and Majestic Prince, respectively).  Arch's third dam is by Never Bend, as is Brass Hat's fourth dam.

Brass Hat hasn't won in a while -- his most recent "first" came back in September 2007 -- but he's now had more than a half-year away from the races and it sounds like he's back in good form.  Let's hear it for one of the old boys coming back to the track!


Looking forward to seeing him back.  Thanks for the analysis.  Hopefully he can give us a few more exciting moments in 2009.

RachelSatterfield 05 Jan 2009 6:02 PM

Yeah ROBERTO!  Lets see more of that Turn-To blood.  My fave is Dynaformer but Kris S is awesome too with 5 Breeders Cup winners.

DynaformerLives 05 Jan 2009 6:54 PM

so let me get this strait, you're tying Brass Hat together with John Henry and they're actually from the SAME FAMILY?  Wow, thats awesome.

DynaformerLives 05 Jan 2009 6:55 PM

This one strikes a personal chord for me as I am a huge fan of the Kris S. line.  I have been following Brass Hat since his three year old campaign.  He's a nice little horse and it is nice to have him back for some more racing.  I love the column in general,  but this one in particular!

AlexH 06 Jan 2009 12:09 AM

HAT UP & give em hell OLD MAN!!!...Long Live The Geldings!!!

Bellwether 06 Jan 2009 2:40 AM

I love Dynaformer and Kris S- I hope Rock Hard Ten will prove a successful sire to carry that line on.

Toral 06 Jan 2009 8:44 AM

 I was glad to read of Brass Hat's return to racing this year. I wish him the best and will be following his races. It's good to see older horses racing even if they are geldings. Also I hope Better Talk who also may be coming back does well.

DONNA 06 Jan 2009 10:29 AM

The Bradley's have done a wonderful job managing Brass Hat's career. Buff's wife Kim deserves some acknowledgment for her role in bringing Brass back to the races. Kim has rehabbed Brass at the family farm in Ky. during each of his layoffs. Brass is not just a racehorse but a member of the family. Best of luck to Brass Hat and the Bradley's in 09.

LL 06 Jan 2009 12:01 PM

I am sad to see Brass Hat racing again. The poor guy has recovered through so much. I don't want to be looking at pictues of him this year in some memory wall because he was euthanized for breaking down. BUt anyways thats bot what this post is about. I think that it is interesting that Brass shares some of the same lineage as John. John was a sturdier horse, but they both have that same desire to keep coming back and not giving up. It is a shame when some horses are guilded. But who woulda thought?

woah 06 Jan 2009 1:54 PM

I had the opportunity to meet both Buff & Brass Hat last year.  In just that one day it was obvious that Buff cares very much about his horses, and I have no doubt that Brass would not be back unless he was 100% sound and ready too.  Good luck to Brass this year!

Niteowl 06 Jan 2009 2:47 PM