06/12/2004 12:00AM

Longshot Brass Hat best in Ohio Derby


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Brass Hat circled the field quickly on the second turn and went on to a three-length victory at odds of 22-1 in the Grade 2, $350,000, at Thistledown on Saturday.

Pollard's Vision, who was near the pace all the way in the nine-horse field, went to the lead briefly on the second turn but was quickly passed by Brass Hat. Pollard's Vision finished second, five lengths in front of Trieste's Honor.

Brass Hat was allowed to settle into stride by jockey Willie Martinez while trailing the field for the opening five furlongs. Heading into the second turn, Martinez smoothly guided his mount to the outside, and Brass Hat accelerated rapidly to make the lead entering the stretch. He widened through the lane while being ridden out and was clocked in 1:49.50 for the 1 1/8 miles over a fast racing surface. Brass Hat is owned by Fred Bradley and trained by William Bradley, and paid $44.80.

Pollard's Vision was never more than two lengths from the lead. When jockey Eibar Coa asked him on the second turn, he responded to make the lead but was quickly headed by the winner and finished second best.

Trieste's Honor, under Russell Baze, was also with the pace and made the lead, but he could not sustain his rally and faded to third.

Even-money favorite Limehouse raced midpack for six furlongs and flattened out.

* Cat Singer set a pressured pace and proved best by a half-length over 12 rivals in the $40,000 Isi Newborn Memorial. Herve disputed the pace all the way and finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Lord de Ville in third. Cat Singer was timed in 1:09.78 for six furlongs and paid $4.20.

* Indiana Downs shipper Codes Preshisone came five wide through the stretch under energetic handling by Luis Gonzalez and was up in time to eke out a nose win in a four-horse blanket finish in the $40,000 Scarlet Carnation Stakes. Codes Preshisone covered the six furlongs in 1:11.10 over a fast track and paid $15.80.

Whatever I Want, Sarah Jade, and Mercer's Launch finished second, third, and fourth, respectively.