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Normandy Invasion - 2013 Derby Contender


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Normandy Invasion


Pedigree: Tapit- Boston Lady (Boston Harbor)

Owner: Fox Hill Farm

Trainer: Chad Brown








One year after finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Normandy Invasion will return to Churchill Downs to take on a strong field that includes Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge in Friday’s Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes.

Trainer Chad Brown decided to send Normandy Invasion to Louisville on Sunday, shortly after he breezed four furlongs in 48.35 seconds at Belmont Park. Normandy Invasion had worked a bullet five-eighths in 59.03 eight days earlier.

“The horse is really training well, and I like the timing of the race,” Brown said. “He showed he liked Churchill Downs when he trained there for two weeks last year, and he certainly ran well in the Derby.”

Normandy Invasion was beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby after making a strong middle move and sweeping to the lead nearing the stretch. Normandy Invasion did not start again until defeating optional-claiming company at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22, setting a one-mile course record in the process. In his most recent start, Normandy Invasion was second-best behind Palace Malice in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.

“The choices were to run him in the Westchester for a lot less money against Palace Malice or bring him here for the Alysheba,” said Brown, who trains Normandy Invasion for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm Inc.

Along with Normandy Invasion and Will Take Charge, the field for the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba figures to include Appealing Tale, Bradester, Dynamic Sky, Golden Ticket, and Moonshine Mullin.

Normandy Invasion was scheduled to fly to Louisville on Monday.

NORMANDY INVASION- Runner up in the Wood Memorial & Remsen!

NEWS- Javier Castellano chooses Normandy Invasion over Revolutionary.
Jockey Javier Castellano has committed to ride Fox Hill Farms' Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), agent Matt Muzikar confirmed April 11, leaving Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Revolutionary open.

Castellano rode WinStar Farms' Revolutionary to victory in the Withers Stakes (gr. III) and Louisiana Derby for trainer Todd Pletcher. He rode the Chad Brown-trained Normandy Invasion for the first time in the Wood, finishing three-quarters of a length behind undefeated Verrazano.

"It was a very, very tough decision," Muzikar said. "These were some of our best clients; we just won a million-dollar race on Revolutionary and we ran huge with Normandy Invasion. WinStar are great supporters of ours and of course there's our man Todd."

Normandy Invasion, by Tapit , has a win and two seconds from five starts, with earnings of $300,240 and 44 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby, which puts him 11th on the leader board for the 20-horse field. Revolutionary, a son of War Pass, has a 3-1-2 record from six starts, earnings of $788,500, and ranks fourth with 110 points.

"Javier really liked the way Normandy Invasion ran in the Wood; he thought two more strides and he would have caught Verrazano, and he thought he galloped out strong," Muzikar said. "There's pros and cons to every situation—Revolutionary has a lot of heart and grit—but it's just one of those things where we had to choose."