Brass Hat Breezes Toward Foster; Magna Graduate Hurt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 25, 2006) --


BRASS HAT WORKS TOWARD STEPHEN FOSTER, MAGNA GRADUATE HURT -- Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (Grade I) and runner-up in the Dubai World Cup (GI), continued his training toward the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs with a workout on Thursday at the Trackside Louisville training center.

The 5-year-old gelded son of Prized breezed five furlongs in a slow 1:05.20 over a "muddy" track -- a move that was not uncharacteristic for trainer William "Buff" Bradley's star. Brass Hat has never been a dazzling workout horse and has generally saved his best efforts for his races.

Bradley said the work over the six-furlong track under jockey Willie Martinez may not look impressive on paper, but he was happy with it.

"We had some rain here and the track was harrowed, but it was a little cuppy and he was blowing a little bit," said Bradley. "We started him out a little further than that. We started about an eighth further and went the first eighth in :15. He actually went three-quarters and galloped out good. He came back blowing a little bit and went to the sand pit and rolled, and was feeling good."

Bradley said that work keeps Brass Hat on schedule for the June 17 Stephen Foster, which would be his first start since the Dubai World Cup on March 25.

"He got something out of it," he said. "I wanted him to go a little longer and around two turns, and just get some air in him. I think that was very good work today."

Brass Hat will continue on his schedule of weekly works up to the Foster and Bradley said one of those moves would be in the company of another horse.

"Everything looks really good," said Bradley. "His weight looks good, he's feeling good and it looks like we're on 'go'."

Meanwhile, the Stephen Foster Handicap lost a major contender when trainer Todd Pletcher told the Daily Racing Form that Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate would miss the race after suffering an injury during a Sunday workout at Churchill Downs.

"Unfortunately he didn't come out of his last work very well and has got a little fracture in his right hind ankle," said Pletcher. "We're going to have to give him some time off."

Pletcher said that the 4-year-old son of Honor Grades, winner of the 2005 Clark Handicap (GII, now GI) at Churchill Downs and fourth in his most recent outing in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (GI), would not require surgery on the injured ankle.

The colt takes a career record of 6-3-3 in 17 races and earnings of $1,477,002 to the sidelines.

Although Magna Graduate will miss the Stephen Foster, Pletcher expects his powerhouse stable to be represented in the 1 1/8-mile race.

"Right now Harlington, Master Command and West Virginia are all possibilities," he said. "We'll definitely run something there. I just haven't pinpointed which one."

Melnyk Racing Stable's Harlington, winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII), finished fourth to Invasor in last week's Pimlico Special (GI); Aaron and Marie Jones' Master Command won the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (GIII) on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico; and Donald and Roberta Zuckerman's West Virginia won the Excelsior Breeders' Cup (GIII) at Aqueduct and was third in the Pimlico Special.