11/02/2004 12:00AM

Brass Hat out with fractured ankle


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Brass Hat, winner of the Grade 2 Ohio and Indiana derbies this year, fractured his right front ankle while finishing ninth in last Friday's Lone Star Derby and will be out of training for at least six months, trainer William "Buff" Bradley said.

Two screws were inserted in his ankle on Saturday. One will be removed in three months, and a full recovery is expected, Bradley said.

Brass Hat was uncharacteristically dull in the Lone Star Derby, always racing in the rear half of the pack. Shortly after crossing the wire, he was pulled up by jockey Willie Martinez and vanned off the track.

"I'm disappointed," said Bradley, who trains Brass Hat for his father, Fred Bradley. "I'm just glad he didn't injure himself any further."

Bradley estimated that Brass Hat would not be ready to race until at earliest next summer.

'Gold Rush' takes sloppy allowance

Quintons Gold Rush ($3.40) scored his first victory since winning last spring's Grade 2 Lexington Stakes in Tuesday's eighth race, a two-other-than allowance. He assumed command from the start and won by 2 3/4 lengths with jockey Pat Day merely showing him the whip in the stretch. He raced a mile on a sloppy track in 1:37.60.

Grade 2 Santa Catalina winner St Averil, the morning line favorite, was scratched.

Superfecta pool is now one for two

Churchill Downs fell short of its guaranteed minimum pool of $100,000 in the track's first "Super Sized Sixth Race" superfecta on Sunday, when $74,670 was wagered. The shortfall increased the payoff, resulting in a $16,195.10 return for a $1 wager.

The superfecta is a bet in which a bettor attempts to predict the top four finishers of a race in precise order. In Sunday's sixth race, Flying Falcon won the race at 10-1 odds, and was followed by Ruby's Prize at 9-1, Forever Brilliant at 13-1, and Shelbiana Kitty at 9-2.

In Sunday's sixth race, 13 maiden 2-year-olds ran - which may have contributed to the handle falling below the guaranteed minimum. Many of the runners were first-time starters.

Doug Bredar, racing secretary at Churchill Downs, determines which race will be run as the sixth race on the card. With selecting a 14-horse field as a goal, "usually that race is going to be maidens or lower-level claiming races," he said. "Seldom is a grass race going to be the sixth."

Tuesday, the second day the bet was offered, Churchill Downs handled $51,606 on the sixth race superfecta, slightly more than the $50,000 minimum pool the track guarantees on weekdays. The minimum pool is only guaranteed to be $100,000 on weekends.

Tuesday's payoffs were much lower. A $1 superfecta ticket paid $5,225.10 for selecting victorious Smoke Talk at 6-1 odds, runner-up Quick and Crafty at 8-1, third-place Ana No Peak at 57-1, and fourth-place Hemisphere at 21-1.

Churchill spokesman John Asher said he was optimistic the handle on the bet would continue to grow after bettors see the payoffs for the wager.

Overnight stakes added

Beginning next weekend, Churchill will begin running overnight handicaps that qualify for black type. In the past the track had run strictly allowance races and major stakes for upper-level horses.

The six overnight handicaps written in the fall condition book carry a $70,800 purse for horses eligible for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. Most of the races have been structured to avoid conflicts with the established stakes schedule.

The rich purses for the overnight handicaps were made possible in part by Tuesday racing being eliminated from the schedule, except for Election Day. This allowed purses to rise by 10 percent this fall, with the average daily purse distribution expected to reach $495,000, Bredar said.

2-year-olds in spotlight Saturday

The stakes program for 2-year-olds gets under way Saturday with the $100,000 Iroquois and the $100,000 Pocahontas. Both races are at a mile, with the Pocahontas restricted to fillies. They serve as preps for a pair of closing-day stakes, the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod Stakes, respectively.

Kentucky Cup Juvenile winner Greater Good is the headliner of the Grade 3 Iroquois. Other possible starters include Bucharest, Can't Trick Jake, Father Weist, Norainonthisparty, Social Probation, Stand Ready, Storied Cat, and Super Tuscan.

Anna M. Fisher winner Kota is expected to be among the Pocahontas favorites, along with Punch Appeal and Burnish. Aspen Tree and I'm a Dixie Girl are possibilities.

Sunday, older mares will be featured in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff, which is also at a mile. Lady Tak is expected to be favored over a group that may include My Trusty Cat, La Reason, Island Sand, Mayo on the Side, My Boston Gal, Susan's Angel, and Halory Leigh.