Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion has been getting "sharper and smoother every day he's been here," trainer Chad Brown said at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27, after the Tapit colt breezed five furlongs in :59 flat in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
In his final major work for the May 4 Derby, Churchill clockers caught the Fox Hill Farms contender in splits of :11 4/5, :23 1/5, :34 4/5, and :46 3/5. Normandy Invasion galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 under exercise rider Javier Herrera.
"He worked good; he worked by himself and the time was a little quick, but he did it easy, galloped out, and came back super," Brown said. "He's really settled in nicely and couldn't been doing any better. Now he'll have a couple of easy days; he'll walk tomorrow and probably just trot the following day, then have some routine gallops leading up to the race."
"The biggest change (since then) is he continues to get a little sharper acting in his gallops and breezes, even just around the barn," Brown said. "I think this horse is really maturing and getting speedier."
Normandy Invasion was bred in Kentucky by Betz/Kidder/Gainesway/Graves/D. J. Stable/Cole and was purchased for $230,000 at the 2010 Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale.
Chad Brown talks about how Normandy Invasion looked: