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BRASS HAT BREEZES AGAIN - Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat continued to work toward his return to racing with a five-furlong work on Friday at Churchill Downs.

The gelded son of Prized covered the distance over a "fast" track in 1:02.40 under jockey Willie Martinez. Trainer William "Buff" Bradley was happy with the latest step in the comeback effort for the 6-year-old Brass Hat, who has not run since a fifth-place finish in last year's Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs.

"He was blowing a little after the work, so it was good for him," said Bradley. "He's doing good."

Brass Hat, winner of last year's Donn Handicap (GI) and New Orleans Handicap (GII) and was disqualified from a runner-up finish in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (GI), cracked a sesamoid during a workout at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville Training Center shortly after the Stephen Foster, but the injury was allowed to heal naturally at the owner's farm near Frankfort, Ky. He had suffered a similar injury at three that kept him out of action for a year, but enjoyed last year's remarkable run of success following a similar layoff.

Bradley continues to hope that Brass Hat will be able to return to competition by the end of Churchill Downs' Spring Meet on July 8.

"We're getting there," said Bradley. "I'd say that probably by the end of the month he'll be ready."

More than $ 1 million in earnings was wiped off of Brass Hat's record by the disputed disqualification in Dubai, which was ordered because of a medication violation. But that record still stands at 6-4-0 in 15 races with earnings of $1,233,473.



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