2nd at 4MASSACHUSETTS H.
( 9f , to Brass Hat, defeating Dr. Pleasure, Evening Attire, Shuffling Maddnes, Palladio, Fire Striker ).
Brass Hat, who won the Sept. 22 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs, is so fast he beat his owner, Fred F. Bradley and trainer, William “Buff” Bradley, back to Kentucky.
“We were able to get tickets to the (New England) Patriots’ football game and stayed up in Boston the next day,” said Buff Bradley, who trains homebred Brass Hat for his dad at Churchill Downs. “I’m kind of a fan, and we were lucky enough to get tickets.”
Brass Hat, the 4-1 third choice in the $500,000 MassCap, beat odds-on favorite Fairbanks by three-quarters of a length. His time in the 11¼8 mile race was 1:49.72.
The MassCap marked a return to the big time for Brass Hat. He had won six previous stakes, including the 2006 Donn (gr. I) and New Orleans (gr. II) Handicaps and the 2004 Ohio and Indiana Derbys (both gr. II). His Donn win earned him a spot in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) that March. He finished second in the $6-million race, but the thrill was short-lived for the Bradleys. He was disqualified, because a post-race test revealed trace amounts of the drug methyl prednisolone acetate, and placed 11th, thus forfeiting a $1.2 million prize.
Brass Hat has fought back gallantly from his share of injuries. The MassCap was Brass Hat’s second win since the son of Prized was returned to training after being sidelined for 13 months because of a fractured sesamoid in his right front leg. It was the same leg in which Brass Hat suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture during the Walmac Lone Star Derby (gr. III) in the fall of 2004. The two injuries were not related.
“The sesamoid injury came in a workout two weeks after he ran in last year’s Stephen Foster (gr. I) at Churchill in June,” Bradley said.
Brass Hat recuperated at the Bradleys’ Indian Ridge Farm near Frankfort, Ky., where Buff Bradley’s wife, Kim, took care of him.
Following his lengthy lay-off, it didn’t take long for Brass Hat to return to form. He set a track-record of 1:41.27 for 11¼16 miles at Churchill Downs in July. He then finished unplaced in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and Woodward Stakes (gr. I), both at Saratoga.
“We ran him back a little too quickly in the Whitney,” Bradley said. “In the Woodward, he didn’t take to the surface. There was nothing wrong with it, but we could tell after the first 20 yards that he didn’t like it.
“Right now, he’s great and is as good as he’s ever been. Training him has been just like clockwork.”
Bradley plans to run him next in the Oct. 27 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Fred Bradley no longer own Brass Hat’s dam, Brassy. She was sold privately and has produced her last two foals, the fillies Ricki S (by Prized) and Brazen Brass (by Grindstone), for Steve Schriever.
Bradley does own Brassy’s first foal, Shiny Prize, an older full sister to Brass Hat. One of 14 mares owned by the Bradleys together or in partnership with others, Shiny Prize is the dam of a yearling Brahms filly and a 2007 Medaglia d’Oro colt. She is not in foal.
Prized has sired 31 stakes winners, including additional 2007 stakes winner Prize Lady (NZ-I). Prized stands at the Funkhouser family’s O’Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va. His 2007 fee was $3,500.—D.S.
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