Turfway Park, Lanes End Stakes Day, March 20, 2004
1 mile 1/16 in 1:44.36 - $79.60 to WIN!

Brass Hat, a 38-1 shot, collects the brass ring, by Steve Chaplin and Marcus Green
Special to The Courier-Journal FLORENCE, Ky. The previously winless Brass Hat shocked a field of eight 3-year-olds, including four stakes-placed runners, to capture the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths yesterday at Turfway Park. Dismissed at 38-1 odds, the twice-raced maiden was fourth early, grabbed the lead after six furlongs, then drew clear to triumph by 3 3/4 lengths. "I had never been on him before today," jockey Jason Lumpkins said. "My confidence was in the trainer (William Bradley)."

The son of Prized covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.36 and paid $79.60. Tales of Glory finished second, 1 1/4 lengths before Gamblin. The heavily favored Nick Zito-trained entry of El Prado Rob and Pies Prospect finished fourth and fifth respectively. Brass Hat, who's out of the Dixie Brass mare Brassy, is 1-2-0 in three starts and has earned $69,920 for owner-breeder Fred Bradley, father of the trainer. He started his career in a $15,000 maiden-claiming race. William Bradley said he'll probably start next in an allowance race at Keeneland.

Rushaway: Brass Hat a winner now
Trainer William "Buff" Bradley saw one downside to winning the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes with Brass Hat at Turfway Saturday. "I blew his maiden condition," he quipped.

Those who backed the horse at 38-1 in the $100,000 stakes could enjoy the humor. Brass Hat, a 3-year-old Prized gelding, had entered the Rushaway with only a pair of runner-up finishes to his credit - including one in a maiden $15,000 claiming race.

His inexperience mattered little in the Rushaway. He professionally stalked the pace in fourth, as Tales of Glory and Boston Brahmin dueled on the lead with early fractions of 22.91 and 46.52 seconds for the 1 1/16-mile race. Leaving the backstretch, Brass Hat and jockey Jason Lumpkins made their move. Brass Hat surged ahead of Tales of Glory, posting a six-furlong time of 1:11.20, and easily drew away to post a 3 3/4-length victory. He paid $79.60 as the second-highest price in the field of 10.

Brass Hat, owned by Buff Bradley's father, Fred, covered the distance in 1:44.36 on a fast track, well off Anet's stakes- and track-record time of 1:40.60, set in winning the 1997 Rushaway. He earned $62,000, justifying Buff Bradley's faith in the horse.

"He looked like he was an improving horse," Bradley said. "I talked to my dad this morning, and I told him if he improved we could be right there."