Brass Hat confirmed for Whitney

Following a strong five-furlong workout Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, Brass Hat was confirmed by trainer Buff Bradley as a starter for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap.

With regular rider Willie Martinez aboard, Brass Hat went five furlongs in 59.80 seconds, the second-fastest of 24 works at the distance. Brass Hat was scheduled to leave Churchill by van Sunday morning and arrive in Saratoga by Sunday night.

"He worked super good, we were very pleased, he did it nice and easy," Bradley said. "He picked it up and started firing 11 [second] furlongs down the lane. Willie was very happy with it. He said he picked it up on his own. We're ready to go. My 12-year-old daughter, Kory, cooled him out and said he was feeling pretty frisky."

After being sidelined more than a year with a fractured sesamoid, Brass Hat won a money allowance race at Churchill Downs by a head over Student Council. The final time of 1:41.27 for 1 1/16 miles established a new track record.

"After the race I would have thought he was going to be knocked back a bit, but I guess I'm a bit surprised that he's come back as well as he did," Bradley said.

The Whitney is shaping up a terrific race. Expected to join Brass Hat in the starting gate are Diamond Stripes, Dry Martini, Fairbanks, Flashy Bull, Lawyer Ron, Magna Graduate, Papi Chullo, and Sun King. Awesome Twist and Wanderin Boy are possible.