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BRASS HAT HEADED TO CORNHUSKER HANDICAP

By Marty McGee

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Buff Bradley wanted to shorten up Brass Hat from the marathon races the venerable gelding has been running in for much of the last two years. Bradley ultimately chose to ship Brass Hat to Prairie Meadows in Iowa for the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race set for next Saturday.

One alternative option for Bradley was to wait for a July 3 allowance at Churchill Downs, a 1 1/16-mile race expected to mark the seasonal debut of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

"I'm already shortening him up from 1 1/2-mile races," said Bradley. "I really thought about staying here and waiting for that race, but there's no assurances it'll go. Besides, Mine That Bird is looking pretty darn good right now. I would've been running against him for $63,000, but this way we can go out of town, keep Calvin, and run for the $300,000 at a little longer distance."

Nine-year-old Brass Hat, an earner of nearly $2.1 million, posted a bullet workout early Friday at Churchill with Borel aboard, going five furlongs in 59.20 seconds over a fast track.

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