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08/27/2010 1:13PM
Brass Hat makes first Ellis Park appearance in Guilliams
 
Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Brass Hat will race at Ellis Park for the first time in the Cliff Guilliams Memorial on Labor Day.
 

An appearance by Brass Hat will help put an exclamation mark on the Ellis Park meet when the $2 million earner runs in the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial, the closing-day feature on Labor Day at the Henderson, Ky., track.
 
"We're all really looking forward to it," trainer Buff Bradley said this week at his home base of Churchill Downs. "My dad is originally from that part of Kentucky, and he's really excited about taking the horse down there for all the people who've never had a chance to see him."
 
Brass Hat has made 37 starts at 16 different tracks while based primarily in Kentucky throughout his career, but, remarkably, none has been at Ellis. The 9-year-old Brass Hat is just $2,079 shy of hitting the $2.1 million mark in earnings, having competed at far more renowned tracks such as Nad al Sheba, Saratoga, Gulfstream, and Churchill.
 
Brass Hat was bred and is owned by Bradley's father, Fred Bradley, a longtime Kentucky legislator who grew up near Ellis in the small town of Providence and now splits his time between the state capital of Frankfort and Gulf Shores, Ala. Buff Bradley said his dad has a winner's circle photograph of himself from 1938 at the track when it was still known as Dade Park.
 
Brass Hat has had three workouts at Churchill since getting several weeks off following a subpar eighth-place finish in his most recent start, the June 26 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows.
 
"In hindsight, his final work before the Cornhusker might've taken too much out of him," said Buff Bradley. "After that we gave him a little time at the farm in Frankfort, and he's come back good as ever. Now that the weather's cooled off some, he's just been dragging the rider around there and not wanting to come off the racetrack. He's ready to run again."
 
The Guilliams is run at 1 1/16 miles on turf, which Bradley concedes "might be a little short for the horse," but he is hoping Brass Hat can outclass the opposition. Twenty-eight older horses are nominated, with other notables being Inca King, Timeless Fashion, and Yate's Black Cat.
 
The Guilliams will be the fourth and last stakes this summer at Ellis, where the 27-day meet is in its second-to-last weekend. The final four-day stretch comes Sept. 3-6. Live action on the Kentucky circuit then moves to Turfway Park in Florence for a 16-day meet that starts Sept. 9.

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