Brass Hat worked at 6:30 over a fast track and his time was the fastest of 30 at the distance. Churchill Downs clockers had Brass Hat galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.
"I wanted to get a good work in him this morning," trainer Buff Bradley said of Brass Hat, who has not started on dirt since finishing fifth in the 2008 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs. "He was very relaxed and striding out well. Calvin said it's hard to believe he is nine years old. He likes what he does."
Brass Hat, who has earned $2,097,921 with a record of 9-7-5 in 36 races, finished third in his most recent start, the mile and a half Louisville Handicap (GIII) on May 22. Seven of Brass Hat's past eight starts have been at 12 furlongs.
"I wanted to cut him back to a mile and an eighth," Bradley said. "There is a mile and a sixteenth race here, but I am afraid it won't go. I hate not to run him here because he loves this track.
"But I looked at the past performances for the Cornhusker, and it looks like he might be one of the top ones. Three of the horses nominated ran in the Stephen Foster, so that would be coming back in two weeks out of a Grade I race, and I don't think many will do that."