- Donn winner Brass Hat is unbeaten in three dirt races since missing more than a year after suffering a foot fracture in the 2004 Lone Star Derby. It’s one of those nice family stories; Fred Bradley bred and raised Brass Hat from a mare he bought for $5,000, by a sire with a $3,500 fee; and his son William trains. "It's a dream," [William] Bradley stammered, his round ruddy face becoming flushed, his blue eyes welling with tears. "It's a dream." [Palm Beach Post] Brass Hat was just the second Grade 1 starter for the trainer, and it was a dominant win despite being very wide on the first turn and a good three-four wide on the second. He started flying as they approached the final turn, and track announcer Vic Stauffer, borrowing from Trevor Denman, picked him up with a “Brass Hat is running a big one!” Brass Hat is by the Kris S. stallion Prized, a BC Turf winner who is currently standing for $3500 in West Virginia.
- I had Keyed Entry (Honour and Glory) to win in the first part of a losing parlay with Itsallboutthechase, a disappointing 5th in the Holy Bull. Pretty incredible race by the winner, who broke bad, floated wide around the turn, and ran seven furlongs in what must have been something like 1:20 and change before finishing in 1:27.12. Both the winner and First Samurai will try two turns in their next races, but neither trainer would commit to the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.
"He will stretch out next, but I don't know if it'll be the Fountain of Youth," Pletcher said...I think it can be argued that Keyed Entry is the most impressive three-year old we’ve seen on the racetrack yet this year. He confirmed his class by keeping a Grade 1 winner at bay, and now we’ll find out about his distance prospects. He’s out of a stakes winning mare by the fine handicap runner Cryptoclearance, a personal favorite of mine; and he has inbreeding to the influential broodmare Grand Splendor, from whom has descended the likes of Fappiano, Ogygian, Honour and Glory, Keeper Hill, Clabber Girl, and Commendable.
"I'd imagine he'd get another start here, but it's not etched in stone," [Frank] Brothers said. [Daily Racing Form]
As for First Samurai, he ran well and probably harder than his connections would have liked. I don't think he did anything either way in terms of confirming or not his status as the 7-1 individual entry favorite in the Derby futures pool. His next start, presumably at a two-turn route, should be far more definitive.
- How about this Sweetnorthernsaint (Sweetsouthernsaint), who showed that his romps over weaker company on the Big A inner track were no fluke by doing the same in the Miracle Wood stakes on a sloppy track at Laurel in 1:38.69 for the one turn mile; in the race before, older optional claiming horses took 1:40.10 for the same distance. He’s a half brother to Maria’s Image, a stakes winner at a mile and a sixteenth at Calder. He set a slow pace of 1:14, and then sprinted home in eights of :12.24 and :12.36; his jockey Mario Pino said, "That was fun. I don't get too excited, but all I can say is 'Wow.'” [Baltimore Sun]
- Highly regarded Music School finally made his three-year old debut, and trainer Neil Howard was pleased with the 3/4 length victory and, especially, the way he did it, getting the mile in 1:39.04, best for the distance at the meet thus far.
“I thought he did everything in great fashion,” Howard said in the press box, a spot normally reserved at Oaklawn for the winning connections after stakes races. “I loved the fact that he broke and then Robby was able to let a couple of horses outrun him going around the first turn and then settle into third.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]The son of A.P. Indy, out of a stakes winning half sister to Mineshaft (also by A.P. Indy), is likely headed next to the Rebel on March 18.
- Workouts: Frankel’s Latent Heat worked five furlongs in :59 3/5 on Saturday at Hollywood Park. Frankel said. "Maybe I'll run him (next) in an allowance race, I don't know. I don't think he'll run in the San Vicente (S. [G2] on Sunday)." [Brisnet]. Frankel had previously been quoted as saying that he would not rush this colt for the Derby. Private Vow worked five in 1:03.60 (10/11); Brother Derek a half in :49.40 (6/24).