BRASS HAT GEARS UP FOR ANOTHER CLARK HANDICAP TRY
"Trainer Buff Bradley's back was aching Friday morning and he was eagerly in search of relief.
He got it a little after 8:30.
"Watching him work like that makes me feel better," Bradley said after his father's Brass Hat worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Calvin Borel over a fast track for the second fastest of 27 works at the distance. "I like it when Calvin comes back smiling."
The 9-year-old Brass Hat was working for the first time since winning the Sycamore (GIII) at Keeneland on Oct. 21. The victory improved Brass Hat's career record to 10-8-5 in 39 races for earnings of $2,167,92.
The Sycamore came on the turf at 1 and 1/2 miles, but Bradley is looking at the Nov. 26 Clark Handicap at 1 and 1/8 miles on the main track as the next target for Brass Hat.
"Calvin has always been telling me to run him back on the dirt," Bradley said. "This is his home track and if the race was not here, we would not think about it. He was hitting the ground good this morning and Calvin never moved on him."
Brass Hat tried the dirt once this year, finishing eighth in the Cornhusker Handicap (GII) at Prairie Meadows in June.
"Calvin said the dirt at Prairie Meadows was not the same (as it is here)," Bradley said.
Brass Hat ran in the 2007 Clark, finishing second to A.P. Arrow. His most recent victory on the dirt, which came six dirt starts back, came in the 2007 Massachusetts Handicap and the most recent of his four graded stakes victories on dirt came in the Donn Handicap (GI) in 2006.
Bradley plans to work Brass Hat again next week as the final prep for the Clark, which was won last year by 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame.