For immediate release
HENDERSON, Ky. (July 13, 2017) — Brass Hat, one of the region’s most popular racehorses of the past decade, is making a return visit to Ellis Park for Sunday’s Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Day.
As part of the July 16 festivities, commemorative Brass Hat posters will be given out, with fans able to have them signed by trainer Buff Bradley, who owned and bred Brass Hat in partnership with his late father, Fred, and jockey Calvin Borel. Brass Hat will be in the paddock interacting with the public midway through Sunday’s racing program.
Ellis Park is teaming with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to promote the industry-wide venture that provides funding for rehabilitation and retraining of retired racehorses to make sure they have good homes and often second careers after the racetrack.
“Racehorses are good to us, and we owe it to be good to them once their racing days are over,” said Ellis Park racing secretary Dan Bork. “Brass Hat while racing was a crowd favorite and great ambassador for the sport, and he continues to be in retirement. He embodies Kentucky horse racing, being born and raised in Frankfort and running extensively in the state, including Ellis Park, while competing at the top echelon.
“We want to keep building on TAA Day to raise awareness that horse racing takes seriously the responsibility to care for our retired performers. The public is in for a treat getting up close and personal with Brass Hat, and we can’t thank Buff enough for sharing him with us. Fans of all ages won’t want to miss out on this opportunity and our poster giveaway.”
Now 16, Brass Hat earned more than $2.17 million in a racing career spanning seven seasons, after which he enjoyed a second pursuit in the show ring. His nine stakes victories included Gulfstream Park’s Grade 1 Donn Handicap, the Massachusetts Handicap, New Orleans Handicap, Ohio Derby and Indiana Derby. Brass Hat competed at four Kentucky racetracks, including setting a track record at Churchill Downs and winning Keeneland’s Grade 3 Sycamore at age 9 in his second-to-last start. Brass Hat ran in Ellis Park’s 2010 Cliff Guilliams Memorial Handicap, finishing a good second to the future Grade 1 winner Turallure.
Brass Hat now is in retirement at Buff Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm in Franklin, Ky., where he resides with his 18-year-old pal King of Speed, who will join Brass Hat at Ellis Park. King of Speed ran 111 times (including 15 races at Ellis), with 27 victories and earnings of almost $600,000. Like Brass Hat, he was a successful show horse after racing.
Also on hand Sunday will be D.D., trainer John Hancock’s miniature horse who will be paraded throughout the picnic area and racetrack apron.
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Day was created by Ellis Park to bring attention to the TAA, which accredits racehorse retirement, retraining and adoption organizations — and then provides grants to those programs. In its fifth year existence, the TAA has contributed more than $8.2 million to 64 accredited organizations.
“The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is thrilled to partner with Ellis Park on the second-annual Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Day,” said TAA operations consultant Stacie Clark. “It’s opportunities like this that allow the TAA to put our boots to the ground and to share our mission with racetrack fans.”
In addition to the TAA, accredited affiliates Second Stride of Prospect, Ky., and the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville will be on hand to interact with fans and talk about thoroughbred aftercare.
The brainchild of Louisville horse owner Jack Wolf, founder of Starlight Racing, TAA gets funding from owners, breeders, tracks, sales companies, stallion farms and other industry professionals. Horse owners at Ellis Park contribute $1 for every race starter, with the track matching every dollar.
For more information on the TAA, go to thoroughbredaftercare.org.