Brass Hat, 9, will try for Clark victory

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Brass Hat put on a late run to capture the Sycamore at Keeneland.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Brass Hat will make his next start by switching back to dirt and turning back in distance in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs, trainer Buff Bradley said Friday.

Brass Hat, an earner of nearly $2.2 million, posted a thrilling last-to-first score in his last race, the Oct. 21 Sycamore Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the Keeneland turf.

"There aren't a whole lot of other spots for him," said Bradley. "This is his home track, and he always trains well over the dirt, so we thought we might as well give it a try."

Calvin Borel will have the mount back aboard Brass Hat in the $500,000 Clark, a 1 1/8-mile race on the main track. Borel was aboard for the gelding's first work since the Sycamore when Brass Hat went five furlongs Friday in 1:00.80.

As a 9-year-old gelding, Brass Hat has become a true fan favorite, and the Sycamore triumph brought an outpouring of emotion. Bradley said he was overwhelmed by the response from family members and friends.

"It'd be great to have something like that happen here at Churchill," he said.

Nominations for the Clark, one of four graded stakes on closing weekend of the meet (Nov. 25-28), were released Friday. The top names include Dakota Phone and Morning Line, the one-two finishers in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and Apart, winner of the Nov. 5 Ack Ack for trainer Al Stall Jr. Other notables include Redding Colliery, Successful Dan, and three also-rans from the BC Classic: Etched (sixth), First Dude (eighth), and Pleasant Prince (ninth).

The other big races on closing weekend are the Falls City for fillies and mares on Nov. 25, and the twin 2-year-old stakes, the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod, on Nov. 27.