GRADE I WINNER BRASS HAT BEGINS LIGHT EXERCISE -- Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (GI) and runner-up in the Dubai World Cup (GI), has taken his first steps toward a possible return to racing.

Trainer William "Buff" Bradley said the 5-year-old son of Prized is getting light daily exercise at the family's farm near Frankfort, Ky. -- the first exercise for Brass Hat since he was sidelined by an ankle injury in July.

Brass Hat suffered a non-displaced fracture of the sesamoid in his right front ankle following a workout at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center in early July. The consensus among veterinarians who inspected the fracture was to allow the gelding time to let the injury heal on its own rather than attempt surgery. Bradley said Saturday at Trackside Louisville that recent X-rays indicated that the ankle fracture had healed, a result that enabled Brass Hat to end his long period of stall rest.

"He's now walking on the walker," said Bradley. "He's doing good."

Bradley said it's still early in the gelding's recovery, but he believes that Brass Hat could return to race -- but he added that the horse would determine his schedule

"We'll wait and see," said Bradley. "We'll turn him out about another four months and make sure that everything is going good. But it's exciting to think that he might be able to come back."

Brass Hat was last seen in competition in a fifth-place finish behind Seek Gold in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs. He suffered the injury as he slowed to a jog following a workout.

Brass Hat has a career record of 6-4-0 in 15 races with earnings of $1,233,473. He was disqualified from his runner-up finish in the $6 million Dubai World Cup after he tested positive for a banned substance following the race.