Brass Hat Wears Ohio Derby Crown

Fred F. Bradley's homebred Brass Hat, ridden by Willie Martinez, posted a 21-1 shocker by an easy three lengths in the $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown Saturday.

Brass Hat, who had only one prior victory, a 38-1 bomb in the Rushaway Stakes at Turway Park, ranged up four wide on the outside of Pollard's Vision past the quarter pole and was in control down the stretch while ridden out. The time was 1:49 2/5 for the 1 1/8-mile test.

Brass Hat carried 115 pounds, six less than Pollard's Vision.

Pollard's Vision, with Eibar Coa altered course at the eighth pole when the winner shifted inward, but was easily second best by five lengths over Trieste's Honor, who had the lead on the turn for Russell Baze before tiring.

Limehouse, the even-money favorite in the field of nine ridden by Jose Santos, bid on the turn after saving ground while in good position just behind the pacesetters, lacked any response and finished sixth.

Dashboard Drummer was fourth, followed by Mambo Train, Limehouse, Avid Skier, Jandemar and Water Cannon.

Avid Skier had the lead through opening fractions of :23 2/5 and :47 1/5 before giving way to Trieste's Honor, who completed six furlongs in 1:11 2/5.

Brass Hat, a bay Prized gelding, was last of a compact field going into the final turn. While he had only one other win in seven career tries, he has been second four times. In his only previous graded stakes race, he finished fourth in the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs April 30.

The winner's share of $210,000 improved Brass Hat's earnings to $317,650.

He paid $44.80, $15.40 and $11.40. Pollard's Vision returned $5 and $3.80. Trieste's Honor was $5 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)