Fred Bradley's popular homebred gelding Brass Hat, a winner of more than $2.1 million in his career, has been retired at the age of 10, his connections announced Tuesday.
"Fred and I have decided the time has come for Brass Hat to retire," said Buff Bradley, son of Fred Bradley and trainer of Brass Hat throughout his career. "Brass Hat is now 10 years old and in good health. He has been daily galloping strongly at Churchill Downs but recently does not appear to be as free moving as he was once. Both Fred and I knew this day would come and that probably Brass Hat's body would show signs of age before his mental attitude slowed down."
The gelded son of Prized made his career debut in a 6-furlong allowance race at Turfway Park in January 2004 and went on to become an enduring stakes performer who won over fans with his longevity and personality.
Brass Hat won both the Grade II Ohio Derby and Indiana Derby at age 3, but he had his most prolific season two years later. In 2006, Brass Hat won the Grade I Donn Handicap to set him up for a run in the $6 million Dubai World Cup. Although the bay gelding crossed the wire second behind Electrocutionist, he was disqualified when a post-race test revealed trace amounts of the drug methylprednisolone acetate.
Despite battling injuries throughout his career, including a strained suspensory in his left leg in 2008, Brass Hat never failed to return to form once he was back on the racetrack. In 2007, he captured the Massachusetts Handicap and in 2009, triumphed in the Grade III Louisville Handicap.
Last October, Brass Hat earned the sixth graded stakes win of his career when he earned an emotional triumph in the Grade III Sycamore Stakes over the turf at Keeneland.
"Brass Hat has been a very special animal, not only to our family and the employees of Bradley Racing Stable, but also to many thoroughbred race fans," Buff Bradley said. "For this reason, Fred and I will continue to welcome all family, friends and fans to visit Brass Hat at our farm in Frankfort, Kentucky."
Brass Hat retires with 10 wins in 40 career starts. He will go back to the Bradleys' Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort and be turned out with his pasture friends Magic and Goliath.