BRASS HAT FIRES ‘BULLET’ WORK, SET FOR TURF RUN IN LOUISVILLE ‘CAP – Fred
Bradley’s homebred millionaire Brass Hat tuned up for a run in next week’s
$150,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) on turf with a sharp breeze over the
main track on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
The 7-year-old gelding, who has been something shy of an outstanding work horse throughout his career, covered five furlongs over a “fast” surface on Saturday in 1:00. Jockey Calvin Borel, who will ride Brass Hat in the 1 ˝-mile Louisville, was aboard for the move that was the fastest 50 workouts at the distance.
“He started out nice and easy – he went the first eighth in :13 – so he picked it up pretty good,” said trainer William “Buff” Bradley, the owner-breeder’s son.
Brass Hat has run most of his best races on dirt, including a victory in the Donn Handicap (GI) at Gulfstream Park in 2006, the New Orleans Handicap (GII) and Massachusetts Handicap last year, and runner-up finishes in the 2007 Clark Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs and the $5 million Dubai World Cup (GI) in 2006. He was disqualified from the latter because of a medication violation.
The veteran has yet to win in four races on the grass, but he finished a good third to Dancing Forever in the $200,000 Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland last time out.
“We put him on the grass trying to change things up with him,” said Bradley. “He can run on grass or dirt, it doesn’t really matter. It just kind of looked like this was the next spot for him, and then we’ll go from here. We just feel like he likes the grass and we want to prove that he can run on the grass.”
Brass Hat has yet to win in three races this year and his run in the Louisville will end a string of 18 races in which he had been ridden by jockey Willie Martinez, who is spending the summer at Delaware Park. Brass Hat’s career record stands at 8-5-1 in 24 starts with earnings of $1,753,819. The veteran gelding has raced twice on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course. He ran fourth as a 3-year-old behind eventual turf champion Kitten’s Joy in the 2004 renewal of the Crown Royal American Turf (GIII). He then finished seventh in a November, 2005 allowance race that marked Brass Hat’s return to racing following a 13-month layoff because of a leg injury.