Brass Hat, Buzzards Bay Assigned 121 for Foster H.

(from Churchill Downs notes)
Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and runner-up in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), and Buzzards Bay, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), were assigned high weight of 121 pounds apiece for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs racing secretary Doug Bredar issued weight assignments Sunday for the three handicap races on Saturday's "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" program that includes six stakes events with total purses of $1.75 million. The other handicap events are the $300,000-added Fleur De Lis (gr. II) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8-miles and the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16-miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat is considered "definite" for the race. Trainer Ron Ellis said a final decision on the status of Gary Broad's Buzzards Bay would be made on Sunday.

Next on the list of expected starters is Stonecrest Farm's homebred Perfect Drift, a venerable 7-year-old gelding who upset eventual "Horse of the Year" Mineshaft to win the Stephen Foster in 2003. He would be competing in his fourth consecutive renewal of the Foster and trainer Murray Johnson's veteran has been assigned 118 pounds. That is one pound above the impost assigned to Arthur B. Hancock III's Wanderin Boy, the winner of the Ben Ali (gr. III) at Keeneland and runner-up in the Pimlico Special (gr. I) for trainer Nick Zito.

Other "likely" or "possible" starters in the Stephen Foster (with weight assignments) include the Todd Pletcher-trained Master Command (115) and West Virginia (114); the Richard Dutrow-trained duo of Wild Desert (115) and Love of Money (115); the Dale Romans-trained Wiggins (114) and M B Sea (113); and Seek Gold (112).

Romans' Stephen Foster hopefuls turned in their final works for the race over a "fast" track on Sunday. Wiggins breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 while M B Sea covered the distance in 1:02 3/5.