Thursday, March 25, 2010

Remarkable Brass Hat Launches ‘10 Campaign in Pan American

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL (Thursday, March 25, 2010) – It would take a remarkable horse to return from a lengthy layoff in a Grade 3 race going 1 ½ miles on turf and Fred Bradley’s 9-year-old Kentucky homebred gelding Brass Hat fits that bill with a career record of 33-9-6-4 for earnings of more than $2 million.

Jockey Eddie Castro will ride Brass Hat for trainer William ‘Buff’ Bradley in Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) going 1 ½ miles on turf in his first start since finishing second by a half-length in the 12-furlong Stars and Stripes Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park on Sept. 7.

“He’s had a great winter down here and we’ve been kind of looking at this race for him all along if he was up to it,” said the trainer Thursday morning. “He’s ready. He’s run very good races off long layoffs before, so I don’t think that’s a problem.

“We’ll have to see now he if he can still compete at this level as a 9-year-old. Sometimes they can lose a step or two by this age, but as long he shows he wants to race and is happy doing it, we’ll go on with him.”

Brass Hat is a son of Prized, whose career highlight came winning the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) over French filly Sierra Roberta for trainer Neil Drysdale. Winner of the Ohio Derby (G2) as a 3-year-old in 2004, Brass Hat was at the top of his game at this time of year in 2006 capturing the New Orleans Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds and Donn Handicap (G1) over a ‘sloppy’ track at Gulfstream Park.

There was good news and bad news for the team after the Donn victory as Brass Hat made the long trip to Dubai invited to run in the $6 million World Cup and finished a game second to Electrocutionist with Wilko finishing third. However, he was later disqualified from purse money of $1.2 million for a medication violation.

Brass Hat made his last six of seven starts in 2009 on turf during a campaign that focused on long-distance turf stakes. Although his lone victory came in the 12-furlong Louisville Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs in May, he ran very well to finish third in both the United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park the Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) at Saratoga before the Stars and Stripes.

Leading Gulfstream Jockeys on the Move Over Weekend

Jockey Paco Lopez is the only rider among the top seven on the leader board at Gulfstream Park that will be in action here Saturday with his mounts including Mount Joy Stable’s 5-year-old gelding Lemon Spice in the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) as his rivals travel either west to Fair Grounds or 8,000 miles east to Dubai for mounts on World Cup Day.

Leading rider Javier Castellano’s mounts at Fair Grounds will include morning-line favorite Discreetly Mine in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) and he will be joined on the trip from Gulfstream by Rajiv Maragh (6th), Jose Lezcano (7th) and Kent Desormeaux (8th).

John Velazquez is among four Gulfstream-based riders in Dubai as he rides Crowded House in the $10 million World Cup at the new Meydan Race Course. Julien Leparoux, fifth in the Gulfstream standings, rides Furthest Land in that race.

In third-place is Elvis Trujillo, who made the Dubai trip for his regular mount on Presious Passion in the $5 million Sheema Classic (G1). Edgar Prado will be aboard Take the Points in the $5 million Duty Free Stakes (G1). Also running in the Duty Free will be Courageous Cat, winner of the Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream last out on Feb. 20 with Garrett Gomez in the saddle, who also made the trip for the return call.

Jockeys Alan Garcia and Jesus Castanon rank ninth and 10th in the Gulfstream standings and will be in action Saturday at Gulfstream with their mounts in the Pan American to be morning-line favorite Winchester and Silver Mountain, respectively.

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