|By MARTY McGEE |
Park is making plans to acknowledge one of its own.
Brass Hat, the 5-year-old gelding who will race next in the
March 25 Dubai World Cup, will be honored between races next
Saturday after breezing over the Polytrack surface at his home
track in Florence, Ky.
Trainer Buff Bradley acknowledged Friday that plans were
being finalized for an afternoon during which local fans will
get to express their appreciation for what Brass Hat has
accomplished. Brass Hat will ship to Dubai off consecutive
victories in the Dec. 17 Prairie Bayou at Turfway, the Jan. 7
New Orleans Handicap at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana
Downs, and the Feb. 4 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
"When he won the Donn, the roar from the Homestretch
[simulcast room] was incredible," said Sherry Pinson, director
of media relations for Turfway. "Buff and his family have a
lot of friends and support here, and the horse trains here and
has won two stakes here. Turfway wanted to recognize them
before they leave for Dubai."
Brass Hat is scheduled to arrive in Dubai on March 15 after
a layover in Miami, said Bradley, adding he will join the
horse "a couple days later." Bradley, 42, will be accompanied
by his daughter Kory who will turn 11 the day after the World
Cup. The $6 million World Cup will be by far the richest race
in which Bradley, who began training in 1993, has started a
The World Cup will come a little more than two years after
Brass Hat won for the first time. He was a maiden with two
previous defeats when he posted a 38-1 upset in the Rushaway
Stakes at Turfway on the Lane's End Stakes undercard of March
20, 2004. Since then, the gelding, who was bred and is owned
by Bradley's father, Fred, has won five more stakes.
The between-races breeze next Saturday will be the third
for Brass Hat since the Donn. He worked what Bradley termed
"the easiest kind" of five furlongs on Feb. 18 in 1:06.60, and
was scheduled to have another five-furlong breeze Saturday
morning at Turfway.
"I think the Polytrack has been very good for him," said
Bradley. "It's been very good for him and easy on him, but
he's also staying pretty fit off it. Everything has been great
and everything's been the same. We're just trying to maintain
him, that's all."
Besides the Brass Hat workout and subsequent tribute, the
March 4 Turfway card also will feature the $100,000 John
Battaglia Memorial. The 1 1/16-mile Battaglia is the local
prep for the annual Turfway showcase, the $500,000 Lane's End.
Lane's End nominations closed Wednesday and were scheduled
for release this weekend. Turfway stakes coordinator Randy
Wehrman said the race has attracted 155 nominations, up about
20 percent from last year.
Like the Dubai World Cup, the Grade 2 Lane's End is set for