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Veteran Brass Hat Could Return to Dirt; Stall Enjoying Sizzling Spring

BRASS HAT COULD RETURN TO THE DIRT "After nine consecutive starts against graded-stakes company on the grass, a change in venue could be in store for Fred Bradley's homebred veteran Brass Hat.

"I'd like to find an easier spot for him and I haven't ruled out going back to the dirt," trainer Buff Bradley, the owner-breeder's son, said in the wake of Brass Hat's third-place finish in last Saturday's Louisville Handicap (GIII) behind Free Fighter.

"He tries hard every time he runs, but with his style in the mile and a half races he runs, he is at the mercy of the pace. I may have to run him shorter, so they will come back to him. A mile and an eighth is a possibility."

After winning the Louisville Handicap last year, Brass Hat hit the road and recorded third-place finishes in the United Nations (GI) at Monmouth Park and the Sword Dancer (GI) at Saratoga.

"Saratoga was too tough," Bradley said. "I don't know where I am going to run, but I know it won't be on Polytrack."

Brass Hat, whose actual birthday was last Saturday when he turned 9, returned to Fred Bradley's farm in Frankfort on Monday for a week of R & R.

"He came out of the race good," Buff Bradley said. "He will get a week off and maybe even a couple of extra days depending on what my dad and I plan for him."

Brass Hat's most recent start on dirt came in the 2008 Stephen Foster (GI) when he ran fifth behind two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. His most recent dirt victory came in the 2007 Massachusetts Handicap, one of seven stakes wins for Brass Hat on dirt.

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