Brass Hat ready for return

Brass Hat is gearing up for an 8-year-old campaign that will start with the Feb. 14 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway, trainer Buff Bradley said this week.

Brass Hat, who has earned nearly $1.8 million, has been sidelined since finishing fifth behind Curlin in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap last June at Churchill Downs.

"In his first work after the Foster, he came up with a little filling in a suspensory," said Bradley. "Not a tear or a hole, just a little heat. They told us to give him a few weeks off, but as good as he's been to us, I gave him three months. He came back to the track around the first of December, and has been doing great ever since."

Brass Hat was scheduled to breeze Saturday at Turfway, which would be the gelding's fifth workout since returning from his latest layoff. The $50,000 Dust Commander will be run at one mile.

"It looks like the right place to start," said Bradley.