The 6-year-old son of Prized, who has already had enough adventures in his checkered career to justify a small novel, is attempting yet another comeback after being sidelined for a year with a fractured sesamoid in his right front leg suffered in a workout following last year’s Stephen Foster Handicap. It was the second fracture he had suffered in that leg in two years.
Now, here he is working his tail off for trainer William “Buff” Bradley, even though he was never known as a good work horse prior to his latest injury.
“I don’t know why he’s shooting faster,” said Bradley. “He’s still very much relaxed, he’s going to the pole relaxed and he’s going off nice and easy. He just seems to pick it up and he’s really enjoying it right now.”
Not only has Bradley and his father Fred, who owns and bred the horse, had to endure a number of injuries that have interrupted Brass Hat’s career, they were crushed last year when the gelding was disqualified from second in the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) after a post-race test revealed trace amounts of the drug methyl prednisolone acetate.
After a two-day hearing, the stewards ordered the disqualification, which resulted in Fred Bradley losing $1.2 million in purse money and Buff being fined $5,400.
In any event, Brass Hat is back once again, and Bradley hopes to find a race for the horse at the end of the Churchill Downs meet or early in the Ellis Park meet. With his amazing story, not to mention his four graded stakes victories, including the grade I Donn Handicap last winter, Brass Hat would provide a much-needed shot in the arm to what looks to be a depleted older horse division, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
In Tuesday’s work, he was ridden by jockey Willie Martinez and went each eighth faster than the previous one, said Bradley.
“Willie just knows him so well and had him very relaxed going to the pole,” he said. “He just did it nicely and galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:13.”
This was the second time in 15 days that Brass Cat turned in a bullet work. So, perhaps his remarkable story still has several chapters left to be written.